Dividend Stocks

Stick with AT&T as Company Slims Down and Fiscal Stats Impress

Telecom titan AT&T (NYSE:T) is a company that your grandparents might have invested in. I consider T stock to be an all-wealth holding – something that offers security through both good and bad times.

Source: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Still, even a huge company like AT&T has to execute as the stakeholders expect results, quarter after quarter. The pressure to deliver never really ends.

So, has AT&T lived up to its reputation in 2021? I already addressed the company’s first-quarter earnings results, which were stellar.

But a new quarter has come and gone, and every fiscal data release is a new test for AT&T. Fortunately, we’ll find that this old company is in the process of getting leaner in assets, and heftier in subscriber growth.

A Closer Look at T Stock

I truly believe that someday, T stock will get back to the $50+ level, where it was in the year 2000. For the time being, though, we have to be realistic.

On May 10, 2021, the stock hit a 52-week high of $33.88. Revisiting that number could be a reasonable objective for the bulls in 2021.

Admittedly, T stock appears to be stuck in a downtrend this summer. The share price was down to $28 and change.

Still, there’s a very nice consolation prize for the long-term investors. AT&T pays out a forward annual dividend yield of 7.4%.

When I reported on the company in late April, that number was 6.6%. So, AT&T is really stepping up its dividend game, and that’s great news for income-focused investors.

My only complaint is that AT&T’s trailing 12-month earnings per share is -31 cents. If that number can turn positive in the coming months, this would be a huge win for AT&T and its stakeholders.

Less Is More

Apparently, AT&T is a telecommunications giant that’s getting smaller. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Selling/spinning off assets can help to boost a company’s bottom line, especially when they’re non-core assets. These actions can result in a massive capital infusion for AT&T.

First of all, AT&T plans to sell its Vrio Corp. business unit to a private holding company called Grupo Werthein.

If you’re not located in Latin America, then you might not be familiar with Vrio. That company provides video services via DirecTV Latin America, Sky Brasil and DirecTV Go.

As AT&T Latin America CEO Lori Lee explains, it’s not a major loss for her company.

“This transaction will further allow us to sharpen our focus on investing in connectivity for customers. … We remain committed to Latin America through our wireless business in Mexico and services for multinational corporations operating in the region,” Lee stated.

On top of all that, AT&T is spinning off WarnerMedia as well as its DirecTV satellite assets. Whether those transactions turn out to be a smart move or not, remains to be seen.

Delivering Strong Results

As I said earlier, AT&T will need to execute continuously in order to impress investors.

The good news is that AT&T delivered strong revenue and subscriber growth during 2021’s second quarter.

As it turns out, the company’s revenues totaled $44 billion, up nearly 8% year-over-year. That figure was also roughly $1.4 billion more than the Wall Street analysts had expected.

Not only that, but AT&T posted 89 cents in adjusted earnings per share, up 7% from the year-ago quarter. This result, moreover, is 10 cents greater than the average Wall Street analyst estimate.

In addition, AT&T reported a quarterly addition of nearly 1.2 million postpaid wireless subscribers.

And as AT&T CEO John Stankey stated, “For the fourth consecutive quarter, we saw good subscriber growth across wireless, fiber and HBO Max.”

The Bottom Line

T stock might not be buzz-worthy among today’s fast-paced trading addicts.

Yet, this shouldn’t be a problem for anyone seeking a rock-solid, enduring investment.

AT&T still pays a terrific dividend and continues to deliver outstanding fiscal results. And that, in the long run, is what matters most.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.