Analyst Waxes Pessimistic on Verizon Rival

Analysts were mostly split heading into today

by Laura McCandless

Published on Mar 23, 2020 at 10:41 AM

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is down 4.1% to trade at $28.45 at last check. The telecommunications name was downgraded at Cowen and Company to "market perform" from "outperform," and recieved a price-target cut to $37 from $43. The brokerage believes AT&T complex programs such as WarnerMedia will create uncertainty in comparison to rival Verizon (VZ).

T has seen a recent bear gap alongside the broader market sell-off, dipping below its 320-day moving average for the first time since last June. The equity is down 27.2% year-to-date and earlier hit an annual low of $26.27.

Analysts are split on AT&T stock, with eight out of 15 considering a "strong buy" or "buy" and seven sporting a "hold" or worse recommendation. However, the 12-month consensus price target of $38.67 is still a 35.9% premium to current levels.

In the options pits, puts are being favored, per T's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.46 at the the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which sits higher than 94% of readings from the past year.In other words, puts have been purchased over calls at a faster-than-usual clip.

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