Telephone & Data Systems (TDS) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Telephone & Data Systems (NYSE:TDS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Telephone and Data Systems is experiencing strong smartphone demand at its wireless wing, as U.S. Cellular continues to gain market share. The higher ARPU and full utilization of LTE network capacity are expected to mitigate the operating cost headwinds. The company has been increasingly focusing on business services like cloud-based back-up services and managed IP connections. Telephone and Data Systems also plans to purchase and build out a cloud TV platform, which is expected to be launched in second half of 2019 across its wireline and cable markets. However, high costs associated with network integration, aggressive equipment pricing and wireless technology upgrades are likely to put considerable pressure on operating margins. The company considers volatile pricing movement and constant churn as primary concerns. It also remains significantly challenged by service plans from lower-cost mobile operators.”

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. B. Riley reiterated a buy rating and issued a $42.00 price target on shares of Telephone & Data Systems in a report on Thursday, November 1st. Raymond James lifted their price target on shares of Telephone & Data Systems from $31.00 to $36.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, November 6th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Telephone & Data Systems from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, October 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $37.40.

Shares of NYSE TDS opened at $36.73 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 2.80, a quick ratio of 2.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. Telephone & Data Systems has a 52 week low of $23.54 and a 52 week high of $36.99. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 69.30 and a beta of 0.84.

Telephone & Data Systems (NYSE:TDS) last issued its earnings results on Friday, November 2nd. The Wireless communications provider reported $0.41 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.16. The company had revenue of $1.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.29 billion. Telephone & Data Systems had a net margin of 7.96% and a return on equity of 2.43%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.08 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Telephone & Data Systems will post 1.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 28th. Investors of record on Friday, December 14th were issued a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 13th. Telephone & Data Systems’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 120.75%.

In other Telephone & Data Systems news, CEO James W. Butman sold 37,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.50, for a total value of $1,334,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 33,380 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,184,990. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Peter L. Sereda sold 10,998 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.31, for a total value of $388,339.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 173,495 shares of company stock worth $6,141,424. 16.27% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of TDS. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC bought a new position in Telephone & Data Systems in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $100,000. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd bought a new position in shares of Telephone & Data Systems during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $160,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Telephone & Data Systems by 38.9% during the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 7,500 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $206,000 after acquiring an additional 2,100 shares during the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. boosted its position in shares of Telephone & Data Systems by 180.1% during the 2nd quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 8,095 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $222,000 after acquiring an additional 5,205 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its position in shares of Telephone & Data Systems by 169.2% during the 2nd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 8,702 shares of the Wireless communications provider’s stock valued at $238,000 after acquiring an additional 5,469 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.34% of the company’s stock.

Telephone & Data Systems Company Profile

Telephone and Data Systems, Inc, a telecommunications company, provides wireless, wireline, cable, and hosted and managed services in the United States. The company offers cellular services, such as postpaid national plans and prepaid service plans with voice, messaging, and data usage options; and business rate plans.

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