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MarketWatch MarketPulseNov 19, 2019
AT&T stock falls after MoffettNathanson downgrades, saying dividend looks less compelling
Shares of AT&T Inc. are down 1.7% in premarket trading Tuesday after MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett downgraded the stock to sell from neutral. "Despite a target price well below AT&T's recent trading range, we've remained Neutral since our upgrade from Sell last November, based largely on the view that global yield starvation would attract capital to AT&T irrespective of its fundamentals," he wrote. "But in the wake of a strong rally that has left AT&T's valuation stretched and its dividend yield less compelling (particularly when measured against the recent recovery in the 10-year Treasury yield), we believe the time has come when the market will start paying attention to fundamentals again." AT&T's dividend yield is 5.15%, while the S&P 500's in 1.9%. He questions whether the company will be able to achieve its 2020 and three-year targets given challenges in its entertainment business, secular problems in business wireline, and a difficult pay-TV landscape. This will put pressure on AT&T's wireless business to deliver strong results, in Moffett's view, but that industry is becoming more competitive. He kept his $30 target price. AT&T shares have risen 39% so far this year, as the S&P 500 has gained 25%.

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