AT&T shares sink to 30-year low, subscribers cutting cord

‘Old landlines a liability for Ma Bell,’ an analyst said of AT&T's troubles

Shares of AT&T have fallen to a three decade low amid a sharp decline in traditional cable television subscribers and the use of landlines.

On Monday, shares for the telecommunications company are targeting their weakest finish since March 24, 1993, when the stock ended the session at $13.92. Year-to-date, shares have fallen over 26%, after plummeting roughly 34% the last 12 months. 

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In an interview with FOX Business, David Russell, VP of market intelligence at the TradeStation Group, said, "Investors were already sour on AT&T’s long-term prospects because of cord cutting, and this lead-cable story could be the straw that broke the camel’s back."

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. telecom companies have led miles of toxic cables throughout the nation underground and water as well as on poles. 

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"Telecoms carry significant debt loads from their years of building networks," he added. "Not only are those assets less valuable. Some of them could even turn into liabilities, according to these reports. AT&T was already struggling with high costs, and now these old landlines could make things even worse."

John Stankey, chief executive officer of AT&T Inc., speaks during a news conference to promote its high-speed broadband installations in unincorporated townships of Vanderburgh in Evansville, Indiana, US, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022.

"Things have gone from bad to worse for Ma Bell," Russell finished. 

PHONE COMPANY ENDS 411 SERVICES FOR SOME CUSTOMERS

Shares have now fallen 68.79% from an all-time closing high of $44.70 on July 16, 1999, while slipping roughly 32.93% from the 52-week closing high of $20.80 on July 19, 2022. On Monday, AT&T stock is the second worst performer on the S&P 500.

Verizon shares fell in sympathy hitting the lowest level since September 2010, as tracked by Dow Jones Market Data Group. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
T AT&T INC. 16.59 -0.42 -2.47%
VZ VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC. 40.72 -0.39 -0.95%

Earlier in the year, AT&T ended its 411 services for some customers, while over the final quarter of 2022, the company agreed to pay a $6.25 million penalty to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit accusing the phone company of selectively leaking financial information to Wall Street analysts.

Vans parked at an AT&T facility in Evansville, Indiana, US, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. AT&T Inc. wants small towns to use federal economic recovery money to pay it to provide landline high-speed internet to rural and remote areas. (Scotty Pe

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In October, AT&T agreed to pay a $23 million fine while its former president was indicted on federal charges over a scheme involving former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who was arrested on racketeering and bribery charges earlier in the year.

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