U.S.-listed stocks in the beaten-down communication services sector that show positive short-term price momentum as well as positive return on investment.
Looking at sector price performance over the past five days, the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLC) is the top performing U.S. sector fund with a gain of 2.8 per cent. The sector remains the biggest laggard in the S&P 500 year-to-date with a return of minus 32.8 per cent.
This week we searched for communication services stocks that have the potential to continue their rebound off year-to-date lows.
Using our Strategy Builder stock screener, we begin by setting a minimum threshold of US$10-billion in market capitalization. This will focus our search on large-cap stocks for greater stability, liquidity and performance history.
To ensure we focus on firms with recent momentum, we will constrain our search to companies with a positive five-day price performance.
Return on investment, or ROI, measures how effectively management is deploying the company’s assets, which tend to be vast in a communications company. It tells us the earnings power of the company’s assets. We are looking for a positive ROI over the past 12 months.
We have also included price-to-earnings, price-to-cash-flow, annual dividend yield as well as 52-week and year-to-date price performance for your reference.
Trading Central is a global leader in financial market research and investment analytics for retail online brokers and institutions. Its product suite provides actionable trading ideas based on technical and fundamental research covering stocks, exchange-traded funds, indexes, forex, options and commodities. Strategy Builder, our stock screener, is available through leading retail brokers in Canada and around the globe.
Topping our list is AT&T Inc., a holding company that provides telecom equipment, media and technology services globally. The company has the lowest P/E at 8.0, and tied with Charter Communications Inc. for the lowest price-to-cash-flow ratio at just 4.3. (For both metrics, the lower the better.) The dividend yield of 5.8 per cent is the second-highest on our list.
Technology and media company Rogers Communications Inc., the sole Canadian name on the list, also trading on the TSX, is indicating a fairly low price-to-cash-flow of 7.1. The stock price has reversed an impressive 28 per cent off of its Oct. 14 low of around US$36.
Alphabet Inc., another holding company and the parent of Google, has the highest market cap at US$1.3-trillion. It also has the highest return on investment at 25.1 per cent. The stock price is looking to buck its long term downtrend that began in February, having rebounded more than 20 per cent off of the Nov. 3 price low around US$83. Its Google division said Thursday it is appealing a record €4.1-billion anti-trust fine by the European Commission that targeted its Android operating system’s role in restricting mobile competition and consumer choice.
The investment ideas presented here are for information only. They do not constitute advice or a recommendation by Trading Central in respect of the investment in financial instruments. Investors should conduct further research before investing.
Gary Christie is head of North American research at Trading Central in Ottawa.