Avery Schumer
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Morgan Stanley's 5 Questions For Telecom Stocks This Earnings Season

Telecom stocks have performed extremely well so far this year, leading the S&P 500 to fresh all-time highs. According to Morgan Stanley analyst Simon Flannery, telecom investors have nothing to fear from Q2 earnings season.

“Overall we expect a broadly in-line second quarter for the group, as wireless margins benefit from EIP adoption and low upgrade rates ahead of an iPhone refresh,” Flannery explained.

Telecom stocks are often seen as defensive plays, and have been a favorite among what The Reformed Broker’s Josh Brown calls “chicken bulls.” These buyers are investors who want exposure to stocks but are leery of high-growth, high volatility names because they lack confidence in the market.

Interest in telecom stocks, particularly those with large dividend yields, has picked up in the weeks following the surprise Brexit vote, which has driven down U.S. Treasury yields to all-time lows.

Looking ahead to Q2 telecom earnings, Morgan Stanley will be looking for answers to the following questions:

    1. How are deal integrations going?
    2. What’s the impact of Brexit/FX volatility?
    3. Is credit risk rising?
    4. Where’s the revenue growth?
    5. Can the cloud party continue for data center and fiber providers?

Overall, Morgan Stanley remains cautious on telecoms headed into earnings. However, the firm names the following stocks as top picks in the space:

  • American Tower Corp 
  • Crown Castle International Corp 
  • SBA Communications Corporation 
  • Level 3 Communications, Inc
  • Zayo Group Holdings Inc 
  • CyrusOne Inc 
  • Verizon Communications Inc. 
  • T-Mobile US Inc