Why AT&T (T) Stock Is Up Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AT&T (T) was gaining 4% to $37.08 Tuesday following Windstream's (WIN) announcement that it will spin off some telecom assets into a REIT.

Windstream's spinoff will hold some of its fiber and copper networks along with other real estate. The company said it plans to retire $3.2 billion in debt after the spinoff. The company's REIT will then raise $3.5 billion in debt.

Shares of AT&T and other telecom companies including Verizon (VZ), Sprint (S), and CenturyLink (CTL) are gaining following the announcement.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates AT&T INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate AT&T INC (T) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.91, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Despite the fact that T's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.56, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • 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 on the basis of return on equity, AT&T INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for AT&T INC is rather high; currently it is at 56.37%. Regardless of T's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 10.88% trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: T Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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