Sprint, AT&T Rip Higher In Front of Earnings
Analysts are more or less sidestepping this one like a politician dancing the Washington two-step. Eighteen out of 30 analysts rate AT&T a hold, which could mean everything from "I want to rate it a sell, but that would not be good for business," to "I have no clue." Eleven analysts recommend buying the stock and one recommends selling.
Analyst expectations are falling, and 10 analysts now rate AT&T a "strong buy" down from 11 analysts a month ago. The stock appreciated 15.6% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for AT&T is $34.69. In the last month, the stock has fallen 1%.
The trailing 12-month price-to-earnings ratio is 15.9, the mean fiscal year price-to-earnings ratio estimate is 14.92, based on earnings of $2.37 per share this year. Investors are receiving $1.76 cents in dividends for a yield of 4.98%. For a relatively safe stock, the yield is attractive for now. Starting in 2013, when taxes on dividends explode through the roof, the dividend won't look so sexy.
For the same year-over-year fiscal period, revenue has improved to $124.28 billion last fiscal year, compared to $123.02 billion in the previous year. The bottom line has rising earnings year-over-year of $19.86 billion last fiscal year, compared to $12.14 billion in the previous year.
The last date AT&T released earnings was April 24, and the closing price before earnings was $31.72. With a recent closing price of $36.19, its shares have appreciated more than 14% in the last quarter.
AT&T once held an exclusive contract with Apple. That is over, but AT&T now has one with Nokia to sell the Lumia 900, which was, for a while, seizing substantial smartphone buzz. Lumia is powered by Microsoft's mobile software, and after Microsoft backstopped Nokia with free software and other aid, some thought Microsoft and Nokia might have found the comeback trail for mobile.