“From a valuation perspective, AT&T is trading at 14.2 times next-12-months price/earnings multiple, by our estimates, which is one turn higher than its five-year historical average of 13.1 times. The multiple range has been fairly tight, trading between 11.0 times-15.1 times at its peak (mid-2012 and early 2013). Verizon is currently trading at 13.9x NTM by our estimates, slightly off its historical average of 14.2 times,” according to a Wells Fargo Securities note posted by Barron’s.
Moreover, the industry has offered attractive dividend yields, which has helped attract value investors in a year where many are shunning the growth category. For instance, the Vanguard Telecommunication Services ETF , the largest telecom-related ETF, comes with a 3.76% 12-month yield and rose 9.9%.
“AT&T is currently trading at 7.0 times, ahead of its historic average multiple of 6.0 times. It troughed at 5.1 times in second-half 2011, then again in third-quarter 2015, but has since rebounded and continues to creep higher. Similarly, Verizon is trading at 7.3 times currently, versus its historical multiple of 6.0 times. The multiple troughed at 5.1 times, but stayed fairly range-bound between 5.1 times-5.5 times in 2011-2013,” according to Wells Fargo.
Vanguard Telecommunication Services ETF