AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) Is Getting Increasingly Hard To Ignore

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    Newport Trust Co. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Communication Services company by 1.72% to 200.97 million shares with purchase of 3.4 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 2.82% valued currently at $5.94 billion. In addition, Norges Bank Investment Management raised its holdings by 2.15 million to 74.93 million shares. And Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (. has lifted its position by 7.62% or 4.51 million shares – to 63.64 million shares.

    With over 26.34 million AT&T Inc. (T) shares trading Monday and a closing price of $30.03 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $791.09 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 0.60% and its price on 08/24/20 gained nearly 1.15%. Currently, there are 7.15B common shares owned by the public and among those 7.12B shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 28 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for T have a consensus price objective of $32.50. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $38.00 and a low of $17.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the AT&T Inc. stock is 2.70 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 7.49% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -76.65% over that period. But an upside of 20.97% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $34.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 200 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 133 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 2,322,159 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 67 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 1,663,437 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in AT&T Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard 500 Index Fund, and SPDR S&P 500 ETF. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 202.52 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $5.99 billion. The company sold -0.57 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.84% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund sold -0.9 million shares to see its total holdings shrink to 146.92 million shares valued at over $4.35 billion and representing 2.06% of the shares outstanding. SPDR S&P 500 ETF bought 0.15 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 76.43 million shares at a value of $2.26 billion. SPDR S&P 500 ETF now owns shares totaling to 1.07% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) opened at $29.71, up $0.02 from a prior closing price of $29.69. However, the script later closed the day at $30.03, up 1.15%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 0.60% and -2.56% over the past three months. T shares are trading -23.16% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -13.76% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $26.08 and touched a high of $39.70 over the same period. Currently, 26.34 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 35.00 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 0.73%, 0.19%, and -10.52% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) shares accounts for 54.80% of the company’s 7.15B shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 25.10%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 29.40% and 0.29% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $213.82B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.66. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 18.33, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $1.64. The company has a PEG of 63.66 and a Quick Ratio of 0.80 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.96. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 0.94% over the week and 1.32% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that AT&T Inc. (T) will achieve an EPS of $0.77 for the current quarter, $0.75 for the next quarter and $3.24 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.72 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.82. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.94 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -30.90%, and 1.50% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 0.29% over the next five years, compared to 8.90% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 28 brokerage firm advisors rate AT&T Inc. (T) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.70. Specifically, 7 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 18 of the 28 advise that investors “hold,” and 2 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the T, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. DZ Bank stated their Sell rating for the stock in a research note on April 24, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $26. JP Morgan coverage for the AT&T Inc. (T) stock in a research note released on April 01, 2020 offered a Neutral rating with a price target of $35. Robert W. Baird was of a view on March 23, 2020 that the stock is Neutral, while Cowen gave the stock Market Perform rating on March 23, 2020, issuing a price target of $43- $37. Raymond James on their part issued Mkt Perform rating on March 16, 2020.

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