AT&T stock falls after Jefferies downgrades to hold
Shares of AT&T Inc. are down 0.4% in premarket trading Thursday after Jefferies analyst John Janedis lowered the firm’s rating on the stock to hold from buy. “We think pressures in the entertainment segment will continue, as VMVPDs [virtual multichannel video programming distributors] gain share and video options pressure ARPU [average revenue per user] and margins,” he wrote. “While we expect the Time Warner Inc. deal to close, we believe there is risk of incremental programming investment at HBO/Turner to drive growth, and the advanced advertising opportunity may take longer to materialize.” The Time Warner ruling is expected to come on June 12. Janedis assumed coverage of AT&T, as well as Comcast Corp. , Charter Communications Inc. , and Verizon Communications Inc. . Of those, he has hold ratings on all but Comcast’s stock. Shares of AT&T are down 14% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 14%.