What’s Ailing AT&T's Stock? One Year After Time Warner, Investors Worry About Debt, Disney and Netflix

AT&T’s new-media revolution is off to a slow start on Wall Street.One year ago, the Dallas telecom giant closed on its $100 billion-plus deal for Time Warner Inc., owner of HBO, CNN and Warner Bros. Since then, AT&T’s stock price has languished while rivals surged.Go back to October 2016, just before the deal became public, and the gap is even wider. While the market and competitors generated double-digit returns, AT&T shareholders are in the red over that two-and-a-half-year period — and that’s despite a rich dividend.AT&T’s stock closed at $32.29 on Thursday, $7 lower than before announcing the Time Warner merger.So what’s ailing AT&T’s stock?Start with a huge debt load and a surge in new shares, which helped pay for Time Warner last year and for DirecTV in 2015. Those deals swelled the company’s balance sheet and even prompted some credit downgrades.  Continue reading...

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