There is something to be said for going with a safe play -- especially in a scary market. A lot of the stocks I pick are well-known companies -- blue-chippers. They are established, and for the most part, you know what you are getting. They have a track record of success.
On the field, the same rules often apply. Take a look at free agent running back Shaun Alexander. A few seasons ago, the guy was at the top of the league in rushing yardage with the Seattle Seahawks. Now, three weeks before training camp, he doesn't have a team. Several teams are reportedly interested in him, but as of right now, he doesn't have a home.
Alexander is a guy who is the product of an offense. Is he talented? Yes. Will he lead the team? No. That being said, he doesn't lose any games for his team. There's a lot to be said about that. Alexander learned to be a team player, don't say too much, just keep collecting the checks ... oops I mean running the ball! All and all, he is somebody I would want on my team. He may not win it for you, but he definitely won't lose it.
For today's play, I like
At $33.30, the stock is a great value. It is trading near the bottom of its 52-week range of $32.65 to $42.97. It shed almost 20% of its value in the last year alone. The company has $2 billion in cash and more than $34 billion in operating cash flow.
In its last earnings call in April, AT&T said it hit its quarterly numbers while experiencing strong growth in its wireless, broadband and enterprise divisions. At the time, CEO Randall Stephenson said that "revenue growth continues to ramp, we have good momentum across key growth areas, major cost initiatives are on track, and our operational results reinforce the confidence we have in our outlook."
I also like the recent news from the company. Yesterday, AT&T revealed the pricing structure for
3G iPhone. AT&T will start selling the next-generation iPhone July 11. Additionally, consumers will have the option to buy the iPhone without a contract, a move that will surely put the screws to competitors such as
The company will offer a discount -- $199 for the 8-gig model or $299 for the 16-gig one - to certain subscribers, with a two-year contract. Others customers who do not qualify for that discount can buy 8-gig and 16-gig phones for $399 and $499, respectively. Both require a two-year contract.
The most interesting part of the announcement was that AT&T said that in the future it will offer consumers the option to buy the 8-gig phone for $599 and the 16-gig one for $699 without a contract.
Go long with this one, and remember, keep moving the chains!
At the time of publication, Brown had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.
Tim Brown played 16 seasons in the NFL, where he made nine Pro Bowls. After a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, Brown retired as an Oakland Raider. He was a Heisman Trophy winner in college for Notre Dame.