AT&T Stock Will Struggle in 2023

Morgan Stanley downgraded AT&T stock to “equal weight”

The shares of telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) are down 1.7% at $18.58 ahead of the open following a bear note from Morgan Stanley. The brokerage downgraded AT&T stock to “equal weight” from “overweight,” predicting slower growth for the company in 2023 after the outperformance this year.

Put traders have been crowding the stock. This is per T’s 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.99 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands higher than 96% of readings in the security’s annual range.

AT&T options can be had at a relative bargain right now. The stock’s Schaeffer’s Volatility Index (SVI) of 19% stands in the lowest percentile readings from the past year. In other words, traders are pricing in extremely low volatility expectations on the stock at the moment. What’s more, the equity sports a Schaeffer’s Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 99 out of 100, the stock tends to outperform said expectations — a great thing for buyers. 

On Oct. 13, T hit its lowest level in nearly two decades, falling all the way to $15.15. While the shares are 23.2% this quarter, today’s losses threaten to push AT&T stock back below its year-to-date breakeven level.

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