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 0.4%. By the end of trading, AT&T fell 50 cents (-1.5%) to $33.26 on average volume. Throughout the day, 33.6 million shares of AT&T exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 25.9 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $33.16-$33.68 after having opened the day at $33.63 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $33.76. Other companies within the Telecommunications industry that declined today were: Powerwave Technologies ( PWAV), down 6.9%, DragonWave ( DRWI), down 6.4%, Net Element International ( NETE), down 5.3%, and Internet Gold Golden Lines ( IGLD), down 5.2%.
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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 $193.23 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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.

On the positive front, ClearOne ( CLRO), up 53%, Novatel Wireless ( NVTL), up 13.4%, Zhone Technologies ( ZHNE), up 9.8%, and Inteliquent ( IQNT), up 8.2%, were all gainers within the telecommunications industry with Crown Castle International ( CCI) 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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