Financial Management

Please discuss the following topics.  Make sure to give YOUR opinions in your words!


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1.AT&T reported its 4th quarter and full-year earnings on 1/27/2021. The company said revenue came in at $45.7 billion, versus analysts’ $44.5 billion forecasts and $46.8 billion a year ago. AT&T’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization fell 10% to $12.9 billion, short of the $13.3 billion consensus estimate. The company reported 75 cents in adjusted earnings per share, which excludes the write-down and other one-time costs, including a pension adjustment and merger-related amortization expense. AT&T estimates that Covid-19-related impacts subtracted a further 8 cents per share from earnings last quarter. Excluding adjustments, AT&T lost $1.95 per share in the fourth quarter due to the write-down of its DirecTV business by $15.5 billion. AT&T weighs the potential sale of its pay-TV assets, and executives focus their investments on newer technologies. Going forward, AT&T offered guidance that calls for little to no growth in sales and earnings in 2021—likely much softer than many investors had been hoping for.

The earnings release of AT&T can be found at

In your opinion, what was AT&T’s overall performance during 2020? Does this performance surprise you? Support your answer. Refer to the graphic entitled Segment operating revenue (please find the WSJ article under the reading assignment). How do the components of this graph further explain the overall company results? Last October. Hedge fund Elliott Management Corp criticized AT&T’s longtime CEO’s acquisition strategy and called on the company to shed some assets. The investor, which has tangled with Samsung Electronics Co. and the Argentine government, also suggested that AT&T name new directors to its board. Based on the results reported by AT&T, are you convinced that AT&T has a solid strategy in the long run compared to its competitors? Justify your answer.


2. WSJ published an article last December discussing the booming of venture capital. The venture-capital-backed IPOs during the week of December 7th, 2020, of DoorDash Inc. and Airbnb Inc. cap a string of listings that have helped make this the most lucrative year on record for IPOs in terms of money raised. More than $157 billion has been raised as of December 10th—over a third of that in the past 11 weeks—and the number of listings in the largest since the final hurrah of the dot-com boom in 2000. The soaring public offerings are showering returns on some of the biggest names in tech investing, in particular Sequoia Capital, which backed both DoorDash and Airbnb as well as cloud-computing company Snowflake Inc. and videogame company Unity Software Inc., all of which ranked among the year’s 15 biggest listings, according to Dealogic.


So, what factors make the recent spate of IPOs particularly surprising? What factors appear to be supporting recent IPO valuations? Discuss the concern raised in the article that recent IPOs are “an example of how the pandemic has widened the country’s wealth gap.” Do you agree/disagree? Why/why not?

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