Portland based boutique brokerage firm Pacific Crest securities came out today with an extremely bullish call on the wireless and tower sector. While starting four companies with an Outperform rating and initiating two with Sector perform, the big news for investors that like the space is the price targets established for the tower companies. If the team at Pacific Crest is right, these high-flying stocks may go much higher. And that is on the heels of massive gains seen by investors already. Here are the research initiations:
American Tower Corp. (NYSE: AMT) is rated at Outperform with a price target of $99. The consensus target is $84.50.
Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI) is rated at Outperform with a target of $102, compared to the consensus target of $78.
SBA Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: SBAC) also is rated at Outperform and has a target of $98. The consensus target is $77.
InvenSense Inc. (NYSE: INVN) is rated at Outperform. Its target of $15 is is right in line with the street call of $15.
The strong ratings for the tower companies highlight the dogfight in which the major wireless providers are locked. With the landline portion of their business dropping and new challenges from voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) providing cheap service, the industry leaders have all set their focus on wireless. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) all have bundled wireless packages designed at varying price points to fit any consumer. These packages include wireless phone service, texting and data. With the advent of cheaper and better smartphones, this battle for the consumer only grows.
If the analysts at Pacific Crest are right on the tower companies, investors could be looking at 20% gains. One word of caution, these stocks have all outperformed over the past year. It may be smart to look for a pullback before buying in.