Telecom Stocks: Pros, Cons & Picks

Telecom stocks: aye or nay? Two strategists offered CNBC their takes on telecommunications now.

Charlie Smith, chief investment officer of Fort Pitt Capital Group and co-manager of the Fort Pitt Capital Total Return fund, declared, "Yes to telecom."

"People are not going to want to do without their cell phones, their high-speed wireless," said Smith. (See his stock recommendations, below.)

Jack Ablin, CIO of Harris Private Bank, disagrees: "We look at telecom from the top down. We're seeing continued P/E contraction, and in terms of momentum, continued breakdown."

Ablin noted a holistic problem rippling through the sector: "Telecoms' biggest customers are the U.S.' biggest banks and brokers." And Ablin said he doesn't foresee those big contracts being re-upped or expanded any time soon. (Dick Bove is more optimistic about banks.)

Smith's Recommendations:

"Cash flows for Comcast, Verizon and AT&T are going to hold up pretty well," Smith said. He pointed out that Verizon raised its dividend recently, and praises the firm's rollout of its FiOS ultra-high-speed fiber-optic Internet/TV/telephone service.

New from



Disclosure information was not available for Smith, Ablin or their respective companies.

CNBC's Companies in the News:

Lehman Bros.

Fannie Mae