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    AAPL   US0378331005

APPLE INC.

(AAPL)
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Vivendi outperforms in third quarter, big profits from disposals

11/14/2014 | 02:05pm EDT
A woman is silhouetted as she walks past the main entrance of the entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate Vivendi's headquarters in Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - European media group Vivendi (>> Vivendi) posted a rise in profit that beat expectations on Friday due to cost cutting and the performance of its music business, while it stayed mum on plans to use billions earned from selling telecoms units.

PARIS (Reuters) - European media group Vivendi (>> Vivendi) posted a rise in profit that beat expectations on Friday due to cost cutting and the performance of its music business, while it stayed mum on plans to use billions earned from selling telecoms units.

Vivendi, which is nearing the end of a strategy overhaul began in spring 2012, more than doubled the profits attributable to the group to 839 million euros in the third quarter, including the proceeds from selling Maroc Telecom (>> Maroc Telecom) and a stake in headphone maker Beats.

Pro-forma third-quarter sales fell 0.9 percent to 2.4 billion euros (1.92 billion pounds), while adjusted net profit more than doubled to 189 million euros.

Analysts were expecting sales of 2.6 billion euros and net profit of 151 million euros, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"These were strong numbers at the EBITA level, 12 percent ahead of consensus," said Charles Bedouelle, Exane BNP Paribas analyst. "We expect a positive reaction on Monday morning."

The figures were shorn of Brazilian broadband unit GVT after Vivendi agreed in September to sell the business to Spain's Telefonica (>> Telefonica SA) for 7.2 billion euros.

The GVT deal is expected to close in the second quarter of next year, and the sale of French telecoms group SFR to Numericable (>> NUMERICABLE) (>> ALTICE) on Nov. 27, Vivendi said.

A streamlined Vivendi now owns Universal Music Group, the world's biggest music label, and pay-TV operator Canal Plus, which has activities in France, Poland, Vietnam and Africa.

It will also own minority stakes in SFR-Numericable, Telefonica Brasil <VIVT3.SA> and Telecom Italia (>> Telecom Italia SpA).

Chief Financial Officer Herve Philippe said Vivendi would look for opportunities to sell the telecoms stakes in the long term.

Shareholders will have to wait until early next year for decisions on any share buybacks or dividends to return some of the nearly 25 billion euros proceeds from asset sales.

Vincent Bollore, Vivendi's largest shareholder and board chairman, has said only that he wants it to become a media powerhouse through growth of existing music and TV businesses, although acquisitions are possible.

Vivendi shares have risen almost 50 percent since late March 2012 when it said there should be "no taboos" on restructuring to unlock value. They have climbed 6 percent this year to close at 19.85 euros on Friday, outperforming a 1.3 percent rise in the European media index <.SXMP>.

(Editing by Astrid Wendlandt and Jane Baird)

By Leila Abboud and Gwénaëlle Barzic


© Reuters 2014
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
APPLE INC. -0.16% 148.79 Delayed Quote.12.13%
BNP PARIBAS -1.00% 53.59 Real-time Quote.25.65%
DOW JONES AFRICA TITANS 50 INDEX -0.09% 513.23 Delayed Quote.-1.59%
ITISSALAT AL-MAGHRIB (IAM) S.A. 0.11% 141.4 End-of-day quote.-2.48%
RISE, INC. 0.00% 25 End-of-day quote.4.17%
S&P AFRICA 40 INDEX 0.66% 168.44 Delayed Quote.-0.51%
TELECOM ITALIA S.P.A. -0.42% 0.3551 Delayed Quote.-5.75%
TELEFÓNICA, S.A. 0.29% 4.1555 Delayed Quote.27.60%
VIVENDI SE -0.50% 31.72 Real-time Quote.20.89%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 366 B - -
Net income 2021 93 853 M - -
Net cash 2021 78 438 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 26,7x
Yield 2021 0,58%
Capitalization 2 460 B 2 460 B -
EV / Sales 2021 6,50x
EV / Sales 2022 6,29x
Nbr of Employees 147 000
Free-Float 99,0%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 44
Last Close Price 148,79 $
Average target price 165,36 $
Spread / Average Target 11,1%
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Managers and Directors
Timothy Donald Cook Chief Executive Officer & Director
Luca Maestri Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Arthur D. Levinson Independent Chairman
Kevin M. Lynch Vice President-Technology
Jeffrey E. Williams Chief Operating Officer
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