Telecom & Wireless

Why AT&T Is Still the Most Shorted NYSE Stock

Chris Lange

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) again ranked number one on the list of most shorted stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange for the most recent period. That position was reaffirmed by the 233.08 million shares short posted for the two weeks that ended October 31, up a whopping 23% from its previous level of 189.44 million. The latest reading also represented about 3.8% of AT&T’s total float.

In its most recent quarter, AT&T posted its best-ever third-quarter postpaid phone churn of 0.84%, and continued growth of the postpaid smartphone base.

The telecom giant also reported that it had $0.74 in earnings per share (EPS) and $39.67 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $0.75 in EPS on revenue of $40.12 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.74 and $40.89 billion in revenue.

Despite these results, the stock is down about 11% in the past 30 days. Year to date, the stock is lagging the markets even worse, down about 20%.

However this could all turn around if the firm finally gets around to its acquisition of Time Warner. Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson recently commented:

We look forward to closing our acquisition of Time Warner and bringing together premium content with world-class distribution to deliver a better entertainment experience for consumers and more effective targeted advertising. We’re also on track to have one of the largest high-speed internet networks in the U.S., reaching more than 50 million customer locations with competitive high speeds. This expansion will make our bundled video, mobile and broadband services even more compelling.

Shares of AT&T were last seen trading at $34.35, with a consensus analyst price target of $41.03 and a 52-week range of $32.55 to $43.03.