The "Big Four" wireless carriers -- Verizon (VZ) , T-Mobile (TMUS) , AT&T (T) and Sprint (S) -- have seen a run-up in their shares since the Nov. 8 presidential election, leading investors to consider what's affecting their rising valuations.
Verizon shares closed at $50.25 on Monday, compared with a closing price of $47.65 on Nov. 8. T-Mobile finished at $63.11, compared with $50.46 on Nov. 8.
Sprint closed at $8.50 on Monday, compared with $6.27 on Election Day, and AT&T finished at $42.42, compared with $36.99. Shares of all four companies declined slightly on Monday, by less than 1%.
The main drivers for their stock appreciation include an expected rollback in regulations, heightened M&A activity and corporate tax reform, Barclays said in a note on Monday. Another factor that could influence their shares over time includes unlimited plans from all four carriers.
The potential tailwinds seem to be outweighing fundamental challenges facing the industry, Barclays said.
"For now, these positive drivers appear to be outweighing emerging headwinds as evidenced by (the) carriers' reinvigorated support of unlimited plans," Barclays analyst Amir Rozwadowski wrote. "Based on the sector's performance since the U.S. election, recent industry developments are viewed as a net benefit to the sector."
AT&T and Verizon are currently trading at about 1.5 to 2.5 times above their recent bottom levels, which can be attributed to their post- election jump, Barclays noted.
"While election-related benefits have helped the sector (overall) ... they largely seem to shield the big two from reflecting incremental pressures from a heightened competitive backdrop," Barclays said.