AT&T Inc (T): 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.

AT&T ( T) pushed the Telecommunications industry lower today making it today's featured Telecommunications laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1%. By the end of trading, AT&T fell 66 cents (-1.8%) to $36.26 on average volume. Throughout the day, 29.2 million shares of AT&T exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 24.9 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $36.26-$37.10 after having opened the day at $37 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.92. Other companies within the Telecommunications industry that declined today were: Otelco ( OTT), down 9.7%, Powerwave Technologies ( PWAV), down 8.2%, WPCS International ( WPCS), down 6.6%, and Zoom Technologies ( ZOOM), down 5%.
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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 $214.26 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 49.5, below the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio of 50.2 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 22.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. 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.

On the positive front, Clearwire ( CLWR), up 70.8%, Sprint Nextel ( S), up 14.3%, DragonWave ( DRWI), up 11.4%, and Nexxus Lighting ( NEXS), up 9.2%, were all gainers within the telecommunications industry with Research in Motion ( RIMM) 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).

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