Some of the biggest telecom stocks just posted their biggest quarterly declines in two decades amid both new and old pressures on the cable and wireless industries.
Shares of wireless companies AT&T Inc.
and Verizon Communications Inc.
26.8% and 25.2% respectively during the third quarter. That was the largest quarterly percentage decline since September 2002 for both companies, according to market data from Dow Jones.
Shares fell 25.3% during the third quarter, marking their worst quarterly performance since June 2002, when they lost 27.7%. Cable Peer Charter Communications Inc.
Its stock plunged 35.3% last quarter, posting its biggest drop ever based on available post-bankruptcy data going back to 2009, according to market data from Dow Jones.
Cable giants Comcast and Charter benefited earlier from the pandemic as connectivity became critical for people working and studying from home, but companies have struggled to find growth in their internet business recently. Comcast saw Flat broadband subscribers In the second quarter, the results reported in late July. Charter posted a loss for broadband subscribers, but CEOs said they would have seen some growth If not to disconnect related to changes in government programs.
Executives at both companies have given several reasons for the growth challenges, including that people are moving at lower rates than they used to. As people move, they may be more inclined to switch cable providers, whether by choice or necessity.
Tom Routledge, CEO of Charter, said on the company’s latest earnings call.
Charter announced last week that Routledge plans to step down as CEO and He will be replaced by the current Chief Operating Officer, Chris Winfrey, who takes office on the 1st of December. The retirement came “a few years earlier than many expected,” according to Oppenheimer analyst Timothy Horan, who thought “the early departure was helped by increased competition and the need for CHTR to improve its strategic position.”
Wireless companies have also faced struggles lately.
Verizon posted general gains in postpaid phone subscribers for the most recent quarter reported but It lost 215,000 of those subscribers when looking at the consumer business alone. Analysts see the company in a difficult position, with Verizon being slightly less promoted than its peers in acknowledgment of the Marginal Effects of Excessive Discounts. At the same time, however, the analysts Don’t think Verizon has the network advantage it once hadmainly due to the rise of T-Mobile US Inc.
Will the company be able to defend it Brand “Outstanding”?
AT&T had better subscriber growth than Verizon, despite the company’s CEO deny it Promotions are driving all this performance. However, AT&T shares stumbled after the company’s latest earnings report amid concerns about it Free cash flow drop forecast And comments from executives suggest that customers are getting a little slower in paying their bills.
While the sell-offs in wireless and cable names have their own industry reasons, it’s possible that Verizon, AT&T Charter, and Comcast are to blame for some of their problems — and vice versa. Charter and Comcast have made strides in growing their own bases for wireless phone subscribers through arrangements that take advantage of Verizon’s network.
The early success in wireless communications for Charter and Comcast meant more competition for wireless subscribers across the industry. Craig Moffett, an analyst at Moffett Nathanson, wrote following a charter report in July that the two companies showed “amazing growth in the wireless space.”
AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are delving deeper into the home Internet with their efforts in fiber-optic and fixed wireless access. Charter and Comcast executives both acknowledged some new competition from wireless companies, although they didn’t see that as the main reason behind the recent weak subscriber bids.
“Cable morale is in the vault,” Stephen Cahal, an analyst at Wells Fargo, wrote in a mid-August note to clients. “It’s as if old supporters are afraid of the image of the broadband network addition and FWA’s continued acceleration [fixed-wireless access] net adds. While we think fiber encroachment remains a greater risk, it makes recovery in 2022 look difficult and 2023 more crowded with competitive dynamics. “
One company that didn’t feel the same pain in the stock market in the third quarter was T-Mobile, which saw its shares drop just 0.3%. While the pressures at Verizon and AT&T “can be attributed to the difficult reality of no one being able to make a convincing value proposition to compete with T-Mobile,” Moffett wrote in July, he believes T-Mobile “is still involved, and in At an accelerated rate” — as well as with “increasingly rich demos.”