AT&T (NYSE:T) Shares Gap Up on Better-Than-Expected Earnings

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:TGet Rating) gapped up prior to trading on Wednesday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock had previously closed at $19.16, but opened at $19.75. AT&T shares last traded at $20.37, with a volume of 12,965,369 shares trading hands.

The technology company reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.03. AT&T had a net margin of 14.44% and a return on equity of 13.24%. The business had revenue of $31.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.50 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.78 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 23.6% on a year-over-year basis.

AT&T Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 10th will be paid a $0.2775 dividend. This represents a $1.11 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.46%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, January 9th. AT&T’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 41.11%.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

Several research firms have commented on T. StockNews.com raised shares of AT&T from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, January 5th. Raymond James upgraded shares of AT&T from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $26.00 to $24.00 in a research report on Monday, October 24th. Royal Bank of Canada cut their target price on shares of AT&T from $20.00 to $18.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 21st. Wells Fargo & Company upgraded shares of AT&T from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $17.00 to $22.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 10th. Finally, Barclays boosted their price target on shares of AT&T from $18.00 to $19.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, AT&T presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $22.67.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On AT&T

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Albert D Mason Inc. raised its stake in AT&T by 1.9% during the fourth quarter. Albert D Mason Inc. now owns 27,994 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $515,000 after buying an additional 520 shares in the last quarter. Atlas Brown Inc. raised its stake in AT&T by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. Atlas Brown Inc. now owns 78,373 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $1,443,000 after buying an additional 523 shares in the last quarter. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC raised its stake in AT&T by 1.2% during the first quarter. Nelson Van Denburg & Campbell Wealth Management Group LLC now owns 47,356 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $1,119,000 after buying an additional 547 shares in the last quarter. Widmann Financial Services Inc. raised its position in shares of AT&T by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Widmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 77,897 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,632,000 after purchasing an additional 558 shares during the period. Finally, Chesapeake Wealth Management raised its position in shares of AT&T by 1.8% during the 3rd quarter. Chesapeake Wealth Management now owns 32,723 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $502,000 after purchasing an additional 566 shares during the period. 51.86% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

AT&T Price Performance

The company has a current ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $18.92 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $18.08. The firm has a market capitalization of $144.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.10, a PEG ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 0.61.

About AT&T

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AT&T Inc provides telecommunications, media, and technology services worldwide. Its Communications segment offers wireless voice and data communications services; and sells handsets, wireless data cards, wireless computing devices, and carrying cases and hands-free devices through its own company-owned stores, agents, and third-party retail stores.

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