AT&T’s 7% dividend yield makes stock a ‘value trap,’ analyst says in downgrade

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AT&T Inc. shares are off 0.5% in premarket trading Monday after KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Brandon Nispel downgraded the stock to underweight from sector weight. He sees signs of “deterioration” for AT&T’s DirecTV business during August and also sees indications that the company’s wireless postpaid average revenue per user has been falling on a month-over-month basis. Nispel previously expected DirecTV’s subscriber losses to improve but now projects that they will be worse in the third quarter. “More broadly, we see [AT&T] as secularly and competitively challenged where 2020/2021 expectations high across most segments,” he wrote in a note to clients. Nispel argued that there are “few positive catalysts for [AT&T] outside of asset sales” and that the company’s roughly 7% dividend yield “makes AT&T a value trap.” AT&T shares have declined 27% so far this year as the S&P 500 has added 3.6%.
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