AT&T’s iBust?

As the exclusive carrier for Apple’s iPhone investors are hoping to hear that AT&T will be ringing up profits for some time to come. But right now their numbers are anything but off the hook. This quarter AT&T stock is down about 12%.

What can you expect?

David Barden of Banc of America Securities says he expects AT&T will report its phone lines shrank 8.6 percent compared with a year ago, a faster pace than before.

But he warns that AT&T's results may not be directly applicable to other phone companies, since the weakness in the economy isn't evenly spread across the country. (Historically investors have applied AT&T’s results to other carriers.)

Craig Moffett at Bernstein Research believes fears about the economy and competition are now priced into phone-company stocks, and AT&T's in particular.

"We may now be at a point when near term manifestations of these long-term worries may well be smaller than expected," he wrote in a research report.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial on average expect earnings, excluding items, of 76 cents per share on $31.2 billion in revenue.

The stock looks cheap to me, says Pete Najarian on Fast Money. But you don’t have to run out and grab it. I think you have time.


Jeff Macke sees it very differently. They’re at a 52-week low, he exclaims. I think buying AT&T is buying everything negative about the iPhone, he says.

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