With the market looking ever pricier as we enter the sometimes dangerous month of September, two areas that are looking very attractive are telecom and cable. While some of the telecoms have run hard in investors’ quest for dividends, others offer the consistency of recurring revenue streams and are more reasonably priced.
A new research report from JPMorgan updates the firm’s monthly stock-ranking product, which they say is intended to provide clarity for investors the analysts’ short-term expectations for stock moves within the wider context of the longer term outlook for the companies. Five stocks are the top picks for September, and all are rated Overweight by JPMorgan.
This top cable giant is aggressively going after new business from consumers and small business. Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) is a leading broadband communications company and the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States. It provides a full range of advanced broadband services, including Spectrum TV video entertainment programming, Spectrum Internet access and Spectrum Voice. Spectrum Business similarly provides scalable, tailored and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to business organizations, such as business-to-business internet access, data networking, business telephone, video and music entertainment services and wireless backhaul.
The JPMorgan team have made the company their top pick in the sector. They cite potential growth and strong free cash flow generation post the merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks as a huge positive. They also note they feel that the merger concerns are way overblown and they expect the company to aggressively seek subscriber acquisition.
The JPMorgan price target for the stock is a strong $327, while the Wall Street consensus was not posted. Shares closed up big Thursday at $268.82, a 4.5% gain for the day.
Communications Sales and Leasing
This company was spun off from Windstream and formed as a real estate investment trust. Communications Sales and Leasing Inc. (NASDAQ: CSAL) engages in the acquisition and construction of mission critical communications infrastructure, as well as provision of wireless infrastructure solutions for the communications industry. It operates in two segments, Leasing and Consumer CLEC, and primarily focuses on acquiring and constructing fiber optic broadband networks, wireless communications towers, copper and coaxial broadband networks and data centers.
The company leases its distribution systems to Windstream on a triple-net basis pursuant to a long-term exclusive lease agreement. It owns 3.9 million fiber strand miles, 86 wireless towers and other communications real estate throughout the United States and Mexico.
Investors receive an outstanding 7.66% distribution. The JPMorgan price objective is $34, and the consensus target is $32.67. The shares closed Thursday at $31.33.
This is a broadcasting related stock that could have big upside potential. Comcast Corporation (NYSE: CMCSA) is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings.
Comcast has consistently been growing earnings substantially with extremely strong content revenue growth. Increased revenue at NBC Universal is also giving the company some earnings tailwinds, and a growing sports lineup is adding to revenues. JPMorgan sees cable giants like Comcast as a top growth story that still has plenty of room to run, as well as generating solid earnings to support continued stock buybacks.
Top Wall Street analysts feel the stock deserves a premium to peers and also that movie box office receipts will continue to grow in China, and they see Comcast as one of the top players in the country.
Comcast investors receive a 1.67% dividend. JPMorgan has an $80 price target, and the consensus target is $75.37. Shares closed on Thursday at $65.89.
Top Wall Street and JPMorgan analysts believe this carrier should be bought on an increasing cash flow and valuation thesis. T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) provides mobile communications services in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It offers voice, messaging and data services in the postpaid, prepaid and wholesale markets. It also provides wireless devices, including smartphones, tablets and other mobile communication devices, as well as accessories that are manufactured by various suppliers.
The company offers services, devices and accessories under the T-Mobile and MetroPCS brands through its owned and operated retail stores, as well as through its websites. T-Mobile also sells its devices and accessories to dealers and other third-party distributors for resale through independent third-party retail outlets and websites. It serves approximately 63 million customers.
Top analysts think the network investment appears well positioned as churn has stabilized. The analysts also feel that third-quarter 2016 bad debt as a percentage of revenue will be well below the prior year level.
The JPMorgan price objective is $56. The consensus target is $52.50. The stock closed Thursday at $46.25.
This company may offer perhaps the best growth prospects of all the JPMorgan ideas. Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) provides comprehensive bandwidth infrastructure services in over 300 markets throughout the United States and Europe. It delivers a suite of dark fiber, mobile infrastructure and cloud and connectivity services to wireline and wireless customers, data centers, internet content providers, high-bandwidth enterprises and government agencies across its robust 82,000 route mile network. The company also offers 45 carrier-neutral data center facilities across the United States and France. Zayo was the first to offer bandwidth shopping and buying in under two minutes through Tranzact.
Several Wall Street firms love the strong defensive business model and cite the company’s solid growth trajectory, the highly recurring revenue model, high incremental EBITDA margins, management’s experience and ability to drive high returns on invested capital.
The company reported strong fiscal fourth-quarter numbers and the JPMorgan analysts feel that most of the metrics at the company are headed in the right direction. They also feel the company is on track for double-digit revenue growth over the next few quarters.
The JPMorgan price target was recently raised to $34 from $31. The consensus price target is $32.38. The stock closed most recently at $29.09.
These five top JPMorgan picks for September should do very well going forward. These stocks are good additions to growth portfolios looking for telecom and content delivery and with a longer term vision.