Categories Analysis, Industrials

AT&T (T): Three areas that give the telecom company optimism going into 2022

AT&T’s aim is to hit 30 million fiber households by the end of 2025

Shares of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) have gained 7% year-to-date and 15% in the past one month. The general sentiment around this stock appears to be bullish for 2022 in light of factors such as the 5G rollout and the WarnerMedia-Discovery deal. At a recent analyst event, the company referred to itself as the most undervalued player in the telecom and media space right now and talked about areas that provide optimism going into the year. Here are three of them:

5G

AT&T wants its network deployment to be done in a way where it can take advantage of its dense and rich fiber networks and handle the customers’ bandwidth needs in the best way possible and it believes it will be in a good position to do so.

In terms of the company’s 5G rollout, partly due to its broad and dense low-band spectrum position, it is seeing strong performance from its network. Initial customer sentiment appears to be positive and is expected to improve. This momentum is driven in part by the dense spectrum assets the company had going into mid-band deployment, and the infrastructure of the cell sites in the network.

With regards to mid-band deployment, the company is working on gaining widespread coverage using a collection of mid-band spectrum assets. Going into the middle of the year, AT&T believes it will be in a good position to take the current strength of the network and evolve it and then scale it further going forward.

Fiber

On the fiber side, AT&T hit 2.6 million homes in 2021. The company’s goal was to hit 3 million but it was impacted by a supply chain issue in the latter part of the year. As it is currently seeing a ramp in the necessary supply component, the company believes it will be able to hit the remaining 400,000 in the front-end of 2022 in a 30-45 day timeframe.

AT&T’s aim is to hit 30 million fiber households by the end of 2025 and it is confident it will be able to achieve this goal. The company had 270,000 fiber adds in the fourth quarter of 2021 and it believes it has the momentum to reach the 300,000 range on customers per quarter in 2022.

HBO Max

AT&T had guided that it would be at the upper end of 73 million subscribers for HBO Max and it was closer to 74 million. This outperformance was driven by strong international launches. The early launches in Europe are yielding good results and the company believes there is demand in domestic and international markets for both content from its library as well as new content. The engagement levels on this platform are also strong.

The company is working on creating content that is tailored for each market as well as improving features such as search. It sees good momentum going into 2022 and believes the closure of the Discovery deal will bring further benefits.

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