Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

.

AT&T

(

T

) pushed the Telecommunications industry lower today making it today's featured Telecommunications laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.5%. By the end of trading, AT&T fell 70 cents (-1.9%) to $35.32 on average volume. Throughout the day, 27.5 million shares of AT&T exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 25.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $35.30-$36.10 after having opened the day at $36.10 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.02. Other companies within the Telecommunications industry that declined today were:

Internet Gold Golden Lines

(

IGLD

), down 10.2%,

Clearwire

(

CLWR

), down 8.9%,

Zhone Technologies

(

ZHNE

), down 8.2%, and

KVH Industries

(

KVHI

), down 7.3%.

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AT&T Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides telecommunications services to consumers, businesses, and other providers worldwide. AT&T has a market cap of $206.07 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 47.6, below the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio of 48.3 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate AT&T a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 20 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AT&T as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the telecommunications industry could consider

iShares Dow Jones US Telecom

(

IYZ

) while those bearish on the telecommunications industry could consider

ProShares Ult Sht Telecommunication

(

TLL

).

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