China Telecom Corp (NYSE: CHA) and Telephone and Data Systems (NYSE:TDS) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, risk, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability and dividends.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

0.4% of China Telecom Corp shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 82.2% of Telephone and Data Systems shares are held by institutional investors. 17.3% of Telephone and Data Systems shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares China Telecom Corp and Telephone and Data Systems’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
China Telecom Corp N/A N/A N/A
Telephone and Data Systems 1.09% 1.15% 0.58%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for China Telecom Corp and Telephone and Data Systems, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
China Telecom Corp 0 0 5 0 3.00
Telephone and Data Systems 0 2 0 0 2.00

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares China Telecom Corp and Telephone and Data Systems’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
China Telecom Corp $53.05 billion 0.76 $2.71 billion N/A N/A
Telephone and Data Systems $5.10 billion 0.60 $43.00 million $0.48 57.83

China Telecom Corp has higher revenue and earnings than Telephone and Data Systems.

Volatility & Risk

China Telecom Corp has a beta of 0.62, indicating that its share price is 38% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Telephone and Data Systems has a beta of 1.02, indicating that its share price is 2% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

China Telecom Corp pays an annual dividend of $1.21 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Telephone and Data Systems pays an annual dividend of $0.62 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. Telephone and Data Systems pays out 129.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Telephone and Data Systems has raised its dividend for 42 consecutive years.

China Telecom Corp Company Profile

China Telecom Corporation Limited is an investment holding company principally engaged in telecommunications and related businesses. The Company provides integrated information services, including wireline and mobile telecommunications services, Internet access services, information services and other value-added telecommunications services. The Company mainly operates its business in domestic market.

Telephone and Data Systems Company Profile

Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. is a diversified telecommunications company. The Company is engaged in conducting its Wireless operations through its subsidiary, United States Cellular Corporation (U.S. Cellular), as well as providing its wireline services, cable services, and hosted and managed services (HMS), through its subsidiary, TDS Telecommunications Corporation (TDS Telecom). It operates through four business segments: U.S. Cellular, Wireline, Cable, and Hosted and Managed Services. U.S. Cellular provides service to postpaid and prepaid customers. Wireline operations provide retail telecommunications services to both residential and commercial customers. Wireline offers services, including broadband, video, voice and network access services. Cable offers broadband, video and voice services under TDS and BendBroadband brand names. It provides a range of information technology (IT) services, including colocation, and cloud and hosting solutions through its HMS business.

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