American Tower Corp (AMT): Today's Featured Telecommunications Laggard

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.

American Tower ( AMT) pushed the Telecommunications industry lower today making it today's featured Telecommunications laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.3%. By the end of trading, American Tower fell $1.43 (-2%) to $71.36 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.2 million shares of American Tower exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $71.07-$73.10 after having opened the day at $72.96 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $72.79. Other companies within the Telecommunications industry that declined today were: Linktone ( LTON), down 11.7%, Blonder Tongue Laboratories ( BDR), down 8.2%, RIT Technologies ( RITT), down 7.9%, and WPCS International ( WPCS), down 7.5%.
  • ACTIVE STOCK TRADERS: Get full access to Jim Cramer's thoughts for less than $3/week - sometimes before he says them on TV! Start with a 14-Day Free Trial.

American Tower Corporation, a real estate investment trust, operates as a wireless and broadcast communications infrastructure company. It develops, owns, and operates communications sites. American Tower has a market cap of $28.43 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 62.6, equal to the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 19.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate American Tower a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and two rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Tower as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, MERU Networks ( MERU), up 15.9%, Motricity ( MOTR), up 9.3%, Polycom ( PLCM), up 6.2%, and Calix ( CALX), up 5.7%, were all gainers within the telecommunications industry with Qualcomm ( QCOM) being today's featured telecommunications industry leader.

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).

FREE from Real Money's Jim Cramer: Winners and Losers Election 2012 - Steps to take NOW so you can profit no matter who is in charge! Free download now.