AT&T Inc. shares (T) are off 2.7% in Wednesday trading after KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Brandon Nispel wrote that his analysis of third-party credit-card data showed "further deterioration" in video subscriber trends. "While video monetization remains healthy, subscriber metrics are not," Nispel said. He wrote that AT&T TV and DirecTV subscribers look to be below his original expectations through October based on the card data. Nispel also sees HBO customers declining now that "Game of Thrones" has ended. While he argues that excitement for the upcoming HBO Max streaming service is "increasing" following the hype around Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) new Disney+ offering, Nispel has a measured view of AT&T's potential in streaming: "We doubt HBO Max will be anywhere near as successful as Disney+ given: 1) HBO Max's price point of $14.99/month is uncompetitive with Disney+ and Netflix at $6.99 and $12.99, respectively; and 2) HBO Max will not have the appeal of a brand new service." Nispel rates the stock at sector weight with a $38 target price. His comments come a day after AT&T received a downgrade ( ) from analysts at MoffettNathanson, who worried about whether the company will be able to meet its targets. AT&T shares slipped 4.1% in Tuesday's session, though they're up 30% on the year. The S&P 500 has risen 24% so far in 2019.
-Emily Bary; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 20, 2019 10:59 ET (15:59 GMT)
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