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Decision Time for AT&T Investors

AT&T (NYSE: T) has the second-largest number of shareholders of any publicly held corporation in the U.S. Those investors have one assignment before they're free for the Memorial Day weekend: Friday May 25 is the deadline to decide whether or not to swap their Ma Bell shares for those of AT&T Wireless (NYSE: AWE). If you take the swap, you don't get shares of AT&T's other business units in its proposed breakup. But no worries, mate, because The Motley Fool's Bill Mann lays out the pros and cons.

Should AT&T Investors Swap?
AT&T shareholders have the opportunity to make a tax-free exchange of their shares for AT&T Wireless shares. Trouble is, those who take this deal will not receive any of the other announced spin-offs coming later this year. Should investors put their chips into wireless, or should they stick with old Ma Bell? As always, it depends.

Inside AT&T's Break Up Plan 
On May 11, AT&T filed its preliminary proxy to shareholders detailing its plan to split into four separate companies with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Of primary interest to shareholders is how AT&T's massive debt will be divided among its successors. AT&T Broadband gets a huge piece of it, but AT&T is trying to pay it down in a hurry. How the divisions will perform as separate companies remains the big, unanswered question, and it's important to investors facing the May 25 deadline for trading their AT&T shares for those of AT&T Wireless.

The Right Track on Tracking Stocks
AT&T Wireless and the proposed new AT&T stocks are tracking stocks. Here's how to understand them and the way they may affect your investment decisions. 


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