AT&T Is the 5G Play That Everybody’s Ignoring

Dividend Stocks

It’s fascinating to witness Wall Street turning against telecommunications giant AT&T (NYSE:T) stock. The way they’re treating this iconic company, you’d think AT&T was headed toward zero.

A photo of an AT&T office building.

Source: Roman Tiraspolsky / Shutterstock.com

Of course, that won’t happen anytime soon. Part of the problem is that the market has been rotating out of telecom stocks. This trend, it seems, has lasted longer than some investors might have expected.

Monitoring market churn is a great way to identify pockets of value. If Wall Street is missing out on AT&T’s terrific dividend yield and positive financial data, so be it. That’s just an opportunity to take a long position.

Besides, an old company like AT&T might surprise you with its tech innovations. And a 5G-focused team-up that could bring lightning-speed connectivity to thousands of drivers.

A Closer Look at T Stock

If we rewind the clock to May 10, we can see that T stock hit a 52-week high of $33.88. It appeared as if a breakout was imminent at that time, but appearances can be deceiving.

Since mid-May, the AT&T share price has been in a steady, relentless state of decline. Amazingly, it fell below $25 on Nov. 17.

That’s a fairly substantial downside move for T stock, which for generations has been viewed as a safety stock. Today’s investors must be wondering: when will the pain end?

To help alleviate the suffering, AT&T bounced back to more than $24 since it fell. And it currently provides a soothing annual dividend yield of 8.6%.

Be advised, though, that the company may reduce its dividend next year.

The next data point to observe is AT&T trailing 12-month price-earnings ratio, which is currently 192.

Perhaps you didn’t expect it to be that high. T stock isn’t necessarily a major bargain, based on that metric at least.

Therefore, investors should only consider a stake in AT&T if they still believe in the company itself, and its ability to deliver Street-beating results.

Continuing to Execute

Fortunately, there’s data to show that AT&T remains on solid fiscal footing.

For 2021’s third quarter, the company easily beat Wall Street’s consensus estimate of 9 cents per share in adjusted earnings (excluding non-recurring items). The actual result turned out to be 87 cents per share. That’s pretty impressive, you must admit.

Clearly, the experts weren’t expecting much from AT&T, and they were way off the mark.

Furthermore, AT&T adjusted per-share earnings result marked an improvement over the 76 cents recorded in the year-earlier quarter.

AT&T CEO John Stankey commented at that time, “We continue to execute well in growing customer relationships, and we’re on track to meet our guidance for the year.”

With HBO Max’s global subscribers nearing 70 million during the third quarter, and AT&T’s mobility-segment revenues improving by 7% year-over-year, Stankey’s assessment certainly rings true.

5G Coming to Life

Some businesses claim that 5G is the future of network connectivity.

AT&T, however, takes 5G more seriously than some other companies.

If you require evidence of this, observe that AT&T is teaming up with Ford Motor (NYSE:F) to outfit the new all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck with next-generation 5G cellular connectivity.

With this upgrade, the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning will feature Ford’s private 5G network based on AT&T 5G, with AT&T’s Multi-Access Edge Computing technology.

AT&T Business Chief Product & Platform Officer Rasesh Patel was highly enthusiastic about this tech-forward tie-up. “With this collaboration, we’ll help Ford unlock the potential of 5G helping to build the truck of the future,” Patel said.

It’s conceivable that with this partnership, Ford and AT&T will set the standard in automotive applications of the 5G network.

“It’s 5G connectivity coming to life. And it’s all thanks to the transformative ultra-fast speeds, incredibly low latency, and massive connectivity that is 5G in action,” Patel added.

The Bottom Line

Admittedly, T stock’s P/E ratio doesn’t suggest that there’s an irresistible bargain here.

However, the price does appear to be depressed, to the point where it’s oversold.

Moreover, AT&T can still deliver estimate-beating financial results, along with leading-edge 5G technology that can be accessed immediately, right from the driver’s seat.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

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