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Sick of Roaming Fees? Now Your Carrier Is Hurting Too
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed an uncomfortable truth about the telecoms industry: Roaming, that old bugbear of the world traveler, still accounts for a disproportionate amount of profit. It’s an addiction that carriers just aren’t ready to wean themselves off, even as it becomes harder to justify and drives customers to Silicon Valley alternatives.The 2020 travel hiatus has lost European carriers some 2 billion euros in roaming fees, according to my calculations based on this year’s earnings reports. That might only be about 1% of their total revenue, but in many cases the drop-off has been enough to make the difference between profit growing and shrinking, trimming earnings for some operators by four or five percentage points. It chips away at their contention that new digital tools are making profitability more resilient.That’s because roaming is significantly more profitable to carriers than standard phone plans. It can generate a more than 50% Ebitda margin, an earnings measure, compared with the typical 35%, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Erhan Gurses estimates.It’s a particularly lucrative money-spinner for companies active in the tourist hotspots of southern Europe: the likes of Telecom Italia SpA, Vodafone Group Plc, France’s Orange SA and Spain’s Telefonica SA. Roaming can proportionately account for four times as much revenue for those companies as it does for firms in countries that don’t attract quite as many transatlantic visitors, such as Switzerland’s Sunrise Communications AG and Swisscom AG, or Sweden’s Telia Co. AB.And this money is coming in despite the European Union essentially ending roaming charges in 2017 for those from member countries crossing its borders. An Orange customer in France doesn’t have to pay extra to make a call when in Portugal, for instance. The additional income comes from either non-European visitors or from European customers gallivanting around the rest of the world.A continued penchant for roaming may be shortsighted. The extra fees can push travelers toward alternatives that support wi-fi, such as Apple Inc.’s FaceTime or Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp Audio, which ultimately encourage consumers to form habits that aren’t in the carriers’ long-term interest.Continuing roaming also risks agitating regulators, who have persistently complained about it being little more than a cash cow. That’s political goodwill carriers can’t afford to lose as they try to push through more mergers.Individually, none of these factors — the loss of fee revenue, the rise of wi-fi alternatives and an irked antitrust police — is a deal breaker for telecoms. Cumulatively, they present a risk.Still, intercontinental roaming charges are unlikely to disappear any time soon. U.S. regulators have little incentive to stop AT&T Inc., for example, from charging exorbitant carry fees to a European carrier whose customers are on holiday in Las Vegas or doing business in the Bay Area. The kind of multilateral agreements needed to put an end to the practice would be hard to come by.For now, carriers need a vaccine rollout for global travel to resume and for roaming fees to help them return to growth. But the impact such a small fraction of their operations has had on earnings is disconcerting.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Bloomberg · 1d ago
Telecom Stock Roundup: BB Inks Transformative Deal, ERIC Wins Contract & More
While BlackBerry (BB) is likely to redefine the automotive sector with a transformative deal with AWS, Ericsson (ERIC) secures a 5G deal from WIND Hellas.
Zacks · 2d ago
Orange, Splunk leads premarket losers' pack
Express (EXPR) -27% on Q3 earnings release.Splunk (SPLK) -21% on Q3 earnings release.Veritone (VERI) -20% on planned stock offering.Golar LNG (GLNG) -11% after launch offer of 11M shares in public offering.Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (MACK) -10%.AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC) -7%.Obalon Therapeutics
Seekingalpha · 2d ago
The Board of Directors of Orange Belgium has taken note of the press release of Orange SA issued on December 2, 2020 announcing the launch of a public takeover bid
Press release
Globe Newswire · 2d ago
Orange to deploy the funds received following the recent tax dispute resolution to accelerate its development and commitments, while also proposing to benefit its employees and shareholders
Press release Paris, 2 December 2020Orange to deploy the funds received following the recent tax dispute resolution to accelerate its development and commitments, while also proposing to benefit its employees and shareholdersFollowing the French Council of State's (Conseil d’état) favourable decision on 13 November concerning a long-standing tax dispute, the Orange group confirms that it has received all of the 2.2 billion euros corresponding to sums paid in 2013, as well as the related rights and interest. As announced on 13 November, the Group’s priority is to allocate these funds in a fair and balanced manner between the company’s development, its employees and its shareholders, with an enhanced social commitment.In this respect, the Orange Board of Directors, which met on 2 December, took note of this decision and looked favourably on the proposed project, in particular the following aspects: * Orange will increase the pace of its main areas of development to strengthen its value creation: * Using nearly a quarter of the amount received, the Group will strengthen its leadership in networks, both in France and internationally, for the benefit of its customers, as well as projects related to the ecological transition. * The Group will earmark another quarter of the amount received to support the Group’s operational transformation, in particular with the aim of improving its agility and performance. * In addition, Orange is announcing a conditional voluntary public takeover offer for all the shares of Orange Belgium that it does not yet own. This project is part of the continued efforts of the Orange Group to adapt the capital structure of its subsidiaries to their needs. This proposal, which is only the expression of an intention and does not constitute a formal notification of a voluntary public takeover bid, will be submitted to the FSMA (the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority) for approval.   * Based on the developments in France’s “Pacte Law” of May 2019, the Board of Directors also examined the broad lines of an employee share scheme in France and internationally for a total volume of around 30 million shares, with the objective that employee shareholding reaches 10% in the future. Various terms for this proposal are being examined and will be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval with the aim of implementing the scheme in 2021.   * The Board of Directors also favourably considered the principle of an extraordinary dividend for shareholders of 0.20 euros per share. The final decision will be made at the Board of Directors meeting held to approve the 2020 accounts and will then be submitted to the Shareholders’ Meeting for approval.   * A portion of the funds will be allocated to our social commitments focussed on achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 and digital equality. Several projects will be fast-tracked, such as the deployment of Orange Digital Centers and the financing of carbon sinks. The Orange Foundation’s budget for 2021 will be bolstered with by an exceptional grant that will significantly strengthen the support it provides to the most vulnerable population groups.   * Any remaining balance will reduce the company’s net debt.About OrangeOrange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications carriers with a turnover of €42 billion in 2019 and 143,000 employees as at 30 September 2020, of which 83,000 are in France. The Group has a total customer base of 256 million customers worldwide at 30 September 2020, including 212 million mobile customers and 21 million fixed broadband customers. The Group is present in 26 countries. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In December 2019, the Group presented its new "Engage 2025" strategic plan, which, guided by social and environmental accountability, aims to reinvent its operator model. While accelerating in growth areas and placing data and AI at the heart of its innovation model, the Group will be an attractive and responsible employer, adapted to emerging professions. Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN).To find out more (online and via your mobile device), go to:, or to follow us on Twitter: @orangegrouppr.Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trademarks of Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited. Press contacts:Tom Wright:; 06 78 91 35 11Olivier Emberger:; 01 44 44 93 93Attachment * PR_Orange_AllocationTaxDispute_EN_021220bis
GlobeNewswire · 2d ago
Orange SA is considering a conditional voluntary public takeover bid on Orange Belgium
GlobeNewswire · 2d ago
Orange S.A. goes ex-dividend tomorrow
Orange S.A. (ORAN) had declared $0.352/share dividend.Payable Dec. 24; for shareholders of record Dec. 4; ex-div Dec. 3.See ORAN Dividend Scorecard, Yield Chart, & Dividend Growth.
Seekingalpha · 2d ago
Is Orange SA (ORAN) A Good Investment Now?
Although the masses and most of the financial media blame hedge funds for their exorbitant fee structure and disappointing performance, these investors have proved to have great stock picking abilities over the years (that’s why their assets under management continue to swell). We believe hedge fund sentiment should serve as a crucial tool of an […]
Insider Monkey · 3d ago
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Learn about the latest financial forecast of ORAN. Analyze the recent business situations of Orange through EPS, BVPS, FPS, and other data. This information may help you make smarter investment decisions.
Analyst Rating

Based on 2 analysts

Strong Buy

Disclaimer: The analysis information is for reference only and does not constitute an investment recommendation.

Analyst Price Target
The average ORAN stock price target is 16.45 with a high estimate of 16.45 and a low estimate of 16.45.
Institutional Holdings
Institutions: 262
Institutional Holdings: 30.66M
% Owned: 1.15%
Shares Outstanding: 2.66B
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  • Performance
  • Asset Allocation
  • Dividend History
No Data
Key Executives
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer/Executive Board/Director
Stephane Richard
Deputy Chief Executive Officer/Chief Financial Officer/Executive Board
Ramon Fernandez
Deputy Chief Executive Officer/Chief Technology Officer/Executive Board
Marie-Noelle Jego-Laveissiere
Deputy Chief Executive Officer/Executive Board
Laurent Paillassot
Deputy Chief Executive Officer/Executive Board
Gervais Pellissier
Executive Vice President/Director of Human Resources/Executive Board
Valerie Le Boulanger
Executive Vice President/Executive Board/Secretary
Nicolas Guerin
Executive Vice President/Executive Board
Christine Albanel
Executive Vice President/Executive Board
Jerome Barre
Executive Vice President/Executive Board
Hugues Foulon
Executive Vice President/Executive Board
Beatrice Mandine
Executive Vice President/Executive Board
Helmut Reisinger
Chief Technology Officer
Michael Trabbia
Executive Board
Paul de Leusse
Executive Board
Fabienne Dulac
Executive Board
Alioune Ndiaye
Lead Director/Independent Director
Charles-Henri Filippi
Philippe Charry
Sebastien Crozier
Helene Dantoine
Nicolas Dufourcq
Fabrice Jolys
Anne Lange
Rene Ollier
Independent Director
Alexandre Bompard
Independent Director
Anne-Gabrielle Heilbronner
Independent Director
Christel Heydemann
Independent Director
Helle Kristoffersen
Independent Director
Bernard Ramanantsoa
Independent Director
Jean-Michel Severino
  • Dividends
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Declaration Date
Dividend Per Share
Ex-Div Date
Dividend USD 0.352084
Dividend USD 0.169783
Dividend USD 0.257349
Dividend USD 0.357948
Dividend USD 0.264
Dividend USD 0.381
Dividend USD 0.224
Dividend USD 0.295
Dividend USD 0.13
Dividend USD 0.297
Dividend USD 0.134
Dividend USD 0.296
Dividend USD 0.186
Dividend USD 0.549
Dividend USD 0.326
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About ORAN
Orange SA is a France-based multi-service telecommunications operator. The Company operates seven segments: France, Spain, Europe, Africa & Middle East, Enterprise, International Carriers & Shared Services, Orange Bank. France includes all fixed and mobile communication services to consumers and companies as well as services for carriers. Spain covers fixed line and mobile telephony and fiber. Europe (Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia and Moldova) provides high-speed fixed and mobile broadband. Africa & Middle East primarily operates in the mobile markets but also provides telephony and fixed Internet services. Enterprise provides digital transformation support. International Carriers & Shared Services includes international carrier and the activities of OCS and Orange Studio in content, among others. Orange Bank provides mobile financial services. Orange SA is the parent company of the Orange group.
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