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 down 0.7%. By the end of trading, AT&T fell 34 cents (-1%) to $33.32 on average volume. Throughout the day, 19.9 million shares of AT&T exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 26.3 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $33.29-$33.63 after having opened the day at $33.46 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.66. Other companies within the Telecommunications industry that declined today were: eOn Communications Corporation ( EONC), down 7.9%, RIT Technologies ( RITT), down 7.6%, Internet Gold Golden Lines ( IGLD), down 7%, and Zhone Technologies ( ZHNE), down 6.4%.
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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 $191.87 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 43.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 11.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are seven analysts that rate AT&T a buy, two analysts rate 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 solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. 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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