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AT&T Could Find Upside With Earnings Growth, Deleveraging, Raymond James Says In Upgrade

AT&T Could Find Upside With Earnings Growth, Deleveraging, Raymond James Says In Upgrade

Although AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) may continue to suffer subscriber losses at its DIRECTVNOW segment, the impact is already reflected in the company’s shares, Raymond James said Friday. 

The prospects of earnings growth and a strong de-levering story are likely to lend upside to shares going ahead.

The Analyst

Raymond James’ Frank Louthan upgraded AT&T from Market Perform to Outperform and established a $34  price target.

The Thesis

Expectations have already been adjusted to reflect continued subscriber losses at AT&T’s subscription streaming television service, Louthan said in the upgrade note. 

The service has introduced simpler packages that exclude a number of channels, the analyst said. While this should boost DIRECTVNOW’s profitability as costs are eliminated, the packages are now less attractive to a wider audience, he said.

The limited content will make it tougher for DIRECTVNOW to attract new customers, Louthan said. 

AT&T may try to offset this impact with a wider lineup of channels from its DTV OTT offering and its enhanced streaming service, both of which are expected to be launched later in 2019, the analyst said. 

AT&T is now focusing on its FirstNet opportunity and cost savings from 5G, according to Raymond James.

The continued cross-sale of HBO and other content will likely reduce churn and offset price promotions, Louthan said. 

The research firm raised revenue estimates for 2019 and 2020 from $182.9 million to $183 million and from $183.6 million to $184 million, respectively.

Raymond James raised EPS estimates for 2019 and 2020 from $3.58 to $3.59 and from $3.69 to $3.74, respectively.

Price Action

AT&T shares were up 0.35 percent at $30.38 at the time of publication Friday. 

Related Links:

Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For March 15, 2019

A Recent Upgrade For This Growth Sector

Photo by Luismt94/Wikimedia. 

Latest Ratings for T

Apr 2021Raymond JamesMaintainsOutperform
Feb 2021OppenheimerDowngradesOutperformPerform
Jan 2021Credit SuisseMaintainsNeutral

View More Analyst Ratings for T
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