This week, in our focus on the winning analysts in each industry category from our
Analyst Rankings -- Equity 2000
, we profile the top analysts tracking wireless telecommunications services stocks. On Nov. 28 we look at analysts covering broadcasting and cable TV. (There will be no sector profile during Thanksgiving week.) Our last focus was on
integrated telecommunications services.
Both No. 2 analyst Thomas Lee and No. 3 David Freedman are bullish about this sector. While many of the wireless carriers, along with most anything tech-related, have seen stock prices tumble this year, our two winning analysts see positive trends both near term and longer term. (Our No. 1-rated analyst,
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's
Colette Fleming, was not available for an interview.)
The two predict robust growth in the U.S. customer base over the next several years as pricing continues to make wireless technology more affordable to more people. Lower prices have also encouraged users to stay connected for longer periods, and wireless is fast becoming a competitor to traditional long-distance service.
Lee notes growing demand among Generation Y users; he identifies a viable user segment as young as 12 years old.
Both Lee and
Freedman agree that wireless data is poised to become an increasingly significant revenue source for wireless carriers as packet networks become more widespread. And they agree that further consolidation within this crowded sector is likely.
While both analysts like
, Lee names it as his top pick, asserting that it is currently undervalued. Freedman, on the other hand, favors regional carrier
, which he believes has a great deal of growth potential.
Wireless Telecommunications Services
Rate Their Stock Picks:
Which stock do you like best?
Lee: AT&T Wireless
Freedman: Western Wireless