NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AT&T (T) has been one of the big movers this afternoon after the telecom company announced that it is refocusing on the U.S. market after attempts to acquire shares in British telecom company Vodafone (VOD) fell through. During an investor conference this morning CFO John Stephens said, "We're seeing the window of opportunity in owning assets (in Europe) is closing."
In refocusing on the U.S. AT&T will be working on its Project VIP initiative, which the company describes as an upgrade to its wireless and wireline network. Stephens specifically mentioned expansion of the company's Gigapower fiber optic service which currently services Austin and Dallas.
On the wireless side AT&T announced that its acquisition of Leap Wireless, which will close by the end of the month, will allow it to plug into a new market of customers. Leap owns pay as you go phone service Cricket Wireless.
Stephens also discussed the recent rumblings of a Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) merger. AT&T, which was blocked from acquiring T-Mobile by the Justice Department, does not believe that the government will change its mind concerning industry consolidation and will not allow the merger to go through.
AT&T is up 0.2% to $32.31 at 3:26 p.m. EST.
TheStreet Ratings team rates AT&T INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate AT&T INC (T) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- T's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, AT&T INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- The gross profit margin for AT&T INC is rather high; currently it is at 63.10%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.84% is above that of the industry average.
- The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry average. The net income increased by 279.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$3,857.00 million to $6,913.00 million.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.82, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.47 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: T Ratings Report