Buys for low-risk wireless profit

Article Excerpt

Demand for wireless services continues to rise strongly. New phones and devices, such as Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader, should continue to spur demand for wireless service. We still have a high opinion of Apple and Amazon. But their high share prices make them vulnerable to sudden setbacks. We think network operators like AT&T and Verizon provide a conservative way to profit from the popularity of wireless devices. That’s because they have wider and steadier revenue sources than device makers. AT&T INC. $26 (New York symbol T; Income Portfolio, Utilities sector; Shares outstanding: 5.9 billion; Market cap: $153.4 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 1.3; Dividend yield: 6.5%; WSSF Rating: Average) gets 50% of its revenue by selling traditional telephone services to 45 million customers in 22 states. The company’s wireless division has 87 million customers nationwide, and accounts for 45% of AT&T’s revenue. The remaining 5% comes from selling ads in telephone directories. AT&T took its present form in November 2005. That’s when…

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