AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) was the target of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Stock traders purchased 961,329 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 1,154% compared to the average volume of 76,659 call options.
A number of equities analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of AT&T from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $36.00 to $34.00 in a report on Thursday, December 17th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of AT&T in a research note on Wednesday, March 3rd. Credit Suisse Group dropped their target price on shares of AT&T from $31.00 to $30.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, January 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded AT&T from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $33.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, December 10th. Finally, Raymond James restated a “buy” rating on shares of AT&T in a research report on Monday, March 15th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $31.47.
Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Westside Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in AT&T by 32.7% during the fourth quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 25,879 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $267,944,000 after buying an additional 6,382 shares during the period. Seelaus Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of AT&T by 106.3% in the fourth quarter. Seelaus Asset Management LLC now owns 39,241 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,129,000 after buying an additional 20,216 shares during the last quarter. Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund raised its stake in shares of AT&T by 50.1% in the 4th quarter. Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund now owns 132,087 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $3,799,000 after purchasing an additional 44,059 shares in the last quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp increased its holdings in shares of AT&T by 31.5% in the 4th quarter. Cibc World Markets Corp now owns 2,379,426 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $68,432,000 after acquiring an additional 570,162 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Financial Advocates Investment Management grew its position in shares of AT&T by 47.5% during the 4th quarter. Financial Advocates Investment Management now owns 198,256 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $5,702,000 after buying an additional 63,812 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 51.17% of the company’s stock.
AT&T (NYSE:T) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 26th. The technology company reported $0.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $45.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $44.58 billion. AT&T had a net margin of 6.42% and a return on equity of 12.27%. The business’s revenue was down 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.89 EPS. As a group, equities analysts expect that AT&T will post 3.17 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, May 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, April 9th will be paid a $0.52 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 8th. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 6.72%. AT&T’s payout ratio is currently 58.26%.
AT&T Inc provides telecommunication, media, and technology services worldwide. The company operates through Communications, WarnerMedia, and Latin America segments. The Communications segment offers wireless voice and data communications services; video and targeted advertising services; broadband, including fiber, and legacy telephony internet and voice communication; and wireline telecom services.
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