AT&T Up on Likely DirecTV Approval, Novatel Soars on Heavy Calls Action -- Telecom Winners & Losers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AT&T (T) rose for a second day after reports surfaced that federal regulators will likely approve its DirecTV (DTV) acquisition. Novatel Wireless (MIFI) surged as investors reportedly snapped up a chunk of December calls. Frontier Communications (FTR) tanked following its annual shareholders' meeting and ahead of its slated appearance at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media  and Telecom Conference on Tuesday. 

AT&T rose 0.71%% to close at $33.90. It marked the second consecutive day of gains after a report surfaced in the Wall Street Journal the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Justice Department were not expected to block the $49 billion deal from going through and the review process was close to completion, according to a CNBC report.

Since the Journal's report on Tuesday, the stock has risen 1.2% over the past two days. That has outperformed the Nasdaq Telecommunications Index, which has risen only 0.33% during that same period. With the merger, AT&T and DirecTV would create the largest pay-TV operation in the U.S.


Novatel Wireless surged 5.2% to end the session at $4.83.

The wireless broadband access provider jumped as roughly 5,600 Dec. 4 calls were snapped up for prices ranging from $1.17 to $1.45 a share on Wednesday, according to an optionmonster.com report. According to the report, traders are anticipating the stock to rally by the close of the year.

Earlier this month, Novatel reported a 10.8% increase in first- quarter revenue to $53.5 million and it narrowed its loss to $7.8 million from a loss of $9 million a year earlier. 


Frontier Communications tanked 4.2% to end the session at $5.46.

The rural and small-town telephone company apparently failed to wow investors during its annual shareholders meeting Wednesday, even though earlier in the week the company received clearance from regulators to move forward with its acquisition of Verizon Communications' (VZ) wireline operations in California, Texas and Florida. 

Frontier expects the deal to close in the first half of 2016.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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