William Blair Remains Sidelined on AT&T Inc. (T) Following DirecTV Media Event Showcase

Yesterday, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) held a media event that showcased its new internet-based television service DirecTV Now. From William Blair analyst Jim Breen‘s standpoint, this “over-the-top service” is a solid next move for the telecom giant. The event featured presentations from CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group John Stankey, CTO of AT&T Entertainment Enrique Rodriguez, EVP of Marketing of AT&T Entertainment Brad Bentley, and CEO of Fullscreen George Strompolos.

Though the analyst appreciates T’s endeavors to offset rising competition in the wireless verse, he nonetheless remains sidelined for now, reiterating a Market Perform rating on shares of T without listing a price target.

Breen opines, “With pricing as low as $35, we believe that the value of DirecTV Now will reside in AT&T’s ability to use it as a mechanism to retain postpaid wireless subscribers. AT&T will “zero-rate” DirecTV Now data such that it will not count against the data caps of AT&T’s wireless subscribers. This will differentiate its wireless service from competitors Verizon (VZ $51.12; Market Perform), T-Mobile (TMUS $54.98; Outperform), and Sprint (S $7.86; Underperform).”

Ultimately, “AT&T’s wireless division has been losing 100,000-plus subscribers per quarter for the past several quarters. DirectTV Now will be available to consumers on November 30, 2016. Although we view AT&T’s DirecTV Now offering as a step in the right direction, AT&T will need to continue to innovate in order to offset industry competition,” Breen concludes.

As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, one-star analyst Jim Breen is ranked #3,728 out of 4,239 analysts. Breen has a 56% success rate and faces a loss of 6.7% in his yearly returns. When suggesting T, Breen earns 0.0% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics indicate T as a Buy. Based on 16 analysts polled in the last 3 months by TipRanks, 7 are bullish on AT&T stock while 9 remain sidelined. With a return potential of 10%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $43.67.screen-shot-11-29-16-at-01-57-pm

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