Historically, tumultuous times offer some of the best opportunities to unearth killer stocks, and the market's recent mess surely qualifies. Investors still remain wary of the prospects of many companies today, but many think telecom giant AT&T (NYSE: T ) is an exception.
In our Motley Fool CAPS community, 94% of the 5,074 investors rating the company are bullish, so there's no shortage of reasons why AT&T will thrive, three of which I've highlighted below.
But here at The Motley Fool, we're all for looking at both the good and bad sides of an investment. Once you're done with this article, you can read the case against the stock, weigh in with your own comments below or rate AT&T yourself in CAPS.
1. Wireless growth
Thanks in large part to consumers' continued fascination with Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone, AT&T recently added the second-largest total number of wireless subscribers in company history. And with new additions to the AT&T lineup like the iPad and phones from Palm (Nasdaq: PALM ) , Dell, and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) , many CAPS members expect that wireless will continue to be a big growth driver for AT&T as the company continues to offer a broad selection of the hottest devices today.
2. Next generation
Many investors continue to be bullish about what the future holds in terms of profit potential for the next generation of wireless networks. While competing carriers like Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) are quickly moving ahead with new technology, AT&T's 4G rollout is implementing an evolution of its existing technology that will help relieve capacity pressures on its network, much to the satisfaction of current customers. And with proven equipment partners like Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU ) and LM Ericsson helping with AT&T's transition, CAPS members like the company's potential to attract new business.
While some other telecoms such as Sprint Nextel offer no dividend income to shareholders, AT&T pays a hefty dividend that's in the ballpark of competitors like Verizon and Qwest (NYSE: Q ) , at greater than 6%. On top of AT&T's strong earnings and record annual cash flow in 2009, CAPS members see the payout as a big positive.