In this article, we discuss the 10 best communication stocks to buy now. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis of the communication sector and these stocks, go directly to 5 Best Communication Stocks To Buy Now.
The communication industry comprises businesses serving a variety of consumer needs. These include telecommunication firms such as AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T); social media giants offering online advertising such as Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG); traditional news outlets like The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT); and video streaming giants such as Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). All these companies serve to connect individuals and businesses across the world through a range of mediums and allow the seamless transfer of information and content.
The global unified communications industry — which includes the mediums of information dissemination used by enterprises such as messaging, video, voice, and content sharing — is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24% in the next several years to achieve $192 billion by 2026. This growth will be helped along by a rise in the adaption of 5G technology, which will enable high-speed transmission of large amounts of data and give life to IoT (internet of things) technologies such as smart homes, autonomous vehicles, and wearable technology and smart factory equipment. 5G technology is also expected to make further gains at a rapid pace, and it is forecasted that 1.5 billion people around the globe will have access to 5G by 2024.
The video streaming industry is playing a crucial role in the overall growth of the communication industry. Billions of dollars are being poured into developing stream-only content on platforms such as Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and Apple TV, which recently achieved the feat of winning a Best Picture Oscar Academy Award for its originally produced film CODA. The video streaming industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.1% over the next several years to go from $419 billion in 2021 to reach $932 billion in 2028.
With so much happening in a diverse industry promising to break new barriers with the increased adoption of 5G, artificial intelligence, and growing appetites for digital content, it would pay well to know which stocks in the industry are worth your money.
We examined the communications industry and picked 10 stocks with the best outlook for future growth, range of products/services, analyst ratings, and catalysts for future growth. Hedge fund sentiment around each stock has been derived from Insider Monkey’s database of 900+ elite hedge funds and provided to give readers better context for their investment choices.
10 Best Communication Stocks To Buy Now
10. Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 26
Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) is a Finland-based technology and communications giant which is making heavy inroads into the lucrative 5G market. It has recently signed 5G infrastructure agreements with a number of service providers in different countries around the globe, which includes IOH in Indonesia, T-Mobile in Poland and Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan. In February, Callum Keown of Barron’s noted that Nokia had completed the first part of its turnaround after several bad years, and now considers the stock a good buy given its advances and dominant position in the 5G market.
Jefferies analyst Janardan Menon on March 17 initiated coverage of Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) with a ‘Buy’ rating and €6 price target. He notes that telecom equipment makers are expected to have a strong year on the back of increased 5G rollouts in Europe and he sees the Finnish giant benefiting from an acceleration in sales.
Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) posted earnings per share of $0.15 in the fourth quarter, outperforming analysts’ estimates by $0.02. The revenue for the quarter was recorded at $7.33 billion, which was above analysts’ forecasts by $54.89 million. As of April 7, shares of Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) have gained 33.99% in the last 12 months and 15.50% in the last 1 month.
In February, Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) launched the first phase of its share buyback program, where the total stock purchase will amount to a maximum value of €300 million. This buy back program commenced on February 14, and will end by December 2022.
Hedge funds realize the upward trajectory of Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK), as 26 hedge funds were long on the company shares in the fourth quarter, in comparison to 22 hedge funds in the previous quarter. The top shareholder in Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) during the fourth quarter was Arrowstreet Capital, which held a $232.3 million stake consisting of 37.34 million shares.
In addition to AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK) is one of the best communication stocks to buy.
9. Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE:RCI)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 28
Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE:RCI) ranks next on our list of the best communication stocks to buy. It is a Canadian telecommunication giant which deals in the provision of wireless connectivity, cable and media services.
On March 31, National Bank analyst Adam Shine maintained an ‘Outperform’ rating on Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE:RCI) shares, and raised the price target to C$77 from C$74. In late March, the firm launched the first commercial 5G standalone network in Canada, also one of the first around the world. This will allow Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE:RCI) to provide next-generation service after receiving the country’s first 5G standalone device certification. The firm also signed a five-year strategic partnership with Microsoft in March to work on 5G enabled solutions such as hybrid work and IoT (internet of things).
As of April 7, shares of Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE:RCI) have soared 21.33% in the last 12 months, and 22.69% in the last 6 months. It posted an EPS of $0.75 for the fourth quarter, which was in-line with estimates. Quarterly revenue of $3.07 billion beat consensus estimates by $37.17 million and showed an increase of 7.03% year-on-year.
Hedge funds sentiment was bullish on Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE:RCI) in Q4 2021, where 28 reported long bets on the company shares with a combined worth of $700 million. This is in comparison to 14 hedge funds with $152 million worth of stakes in the firm a quarter ago. Renaissance Technologies was the largest shareholder of Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE:RCI) in the fourth quarter, owning 3.03 million shares valued at $144.4 million.
8. The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 45
The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) is up next on our list of best communication stocks to buy. It operates as a news and media organization, and was founded in 1851.
JPMorgan analyst David Karnovsky on March 4 maintained an ‘Overweight’ rating on The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) shares, and revised the price target to $54 from $62. The analyst notes that the company management is indicating a strategic shift towards subscribers and a bundled product, and away from the separate subscriptions focus of the past several years. This could provide several long-term benefits for the news company, according to the analyst, who likes the firm’s long-term outlook. On February 2, Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Yeh kept an ‘Overweight’ rating on The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) shares, noting that he sees 40% upside from current levels. He revised the price target to $56 from $62.
On February 2, The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) released its Q4 earnings, where EPS was recorded at $0.43, beating estimates by $0.08. $594.23 million in quarterly revenue was up 16.66% year-on-year, and outperformed analysts’ forecasts by $14.26 million.
As of the fourth quarter, 45 hedge funds held stakes in The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) with a combined value of $2.24 billion. The same number of hedge funds reported bullish bets on the news firm a quarter ago as well. Darsana Capital Partners, the largest shareholder of the firm, held a $410.5 million stake in The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) in the fourth quarter consisting of 8.5 million shares.
7. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 55
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) is a video game developer which is behind popular titles such as GTA and NBA 2K. It enjoys a dominant position in the gaming industry with a diverse portfolio of titles, and is also well-positioned to expand its operations in the mobile gaming industry.
On April 6, BofA analyst Omar Dessouky reinstated coverage of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) with a ‘Buy’ rating and price target of $213. The analyst sees the the firm’s release pipeline for 2023-24 as the largest in its history, and its total addressable market at least 40-50% larger than its last major release cycle. He also noted that work on upcoming GTA VI is underway, which could generate around $3.5 billion in bookings at launch.
55 hedge funds reported bullish bets on Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) in the fourth quarter, with combined positions worth $1.49 billion. This shows growing investor confidence in the firm over the previous quarter, where 53 hedge funds held aggregate stakes worth $1.19 billion. Viking Global owned 1.2 million shares worth $213.9 million in Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) during the fourth quarter, making it the top shareholder of the firm.
In the fourth quarter, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) reported earnings per share of $1.32, which was above estimates by $0.13. $866.12 million in quarterly revenue was up 6.37% year-on-year but fell slightly below estimates by $1.81 million.
Arch Capital Management talked about many stocks in its Q4 2021 investor letter, and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) was one of them. Here’s what the fund said:
“Take-Two Interactive is an American video game publisher of franchises like Grand Theft Auto (GTA), Red Dead Redemption (RDR), and NBA 2K. It is currently one of the larger positions in the fund at an 8.3% allocation.
We are bullish on Take-Two because we believe the company has competitive advantages that will keep its franchises relevant for many years. First, its games have distinct network effects that keep it insulated from competitors. Multiplayer online games are only fun if others are also playing them, creating a winner-take-all effect that has specifically benefited GTA and NBA 2K over the last decade.
On top of network effects, Take-Two has decades of developmental expertise and over 5,000 developers across its divisions, giving it semi-strong economies of scale that insulate it from most competitors. Yes, large competitors like Microsoft or any mega-cap company could invest the dollars to get to this developer count, but it is impossible for a smaller studio to make games as immersive and at as quick of a pace as Take-Two does for its customers. They just don’t have the scale…” (Click here to see the full text)
6. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 70
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a US-based telecommunication giant which provides wireless mobile, internet, media and technology services. It boasts one of the largest 5G networks in the United States, and offers strong coverage with a special focus on expanding internet services in rural areas across the United States.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) recently spun off its WarnerMedia segment and merged it with Discovery, in a deal which Morgan Stanley analyst Simon Flannery expects will unlock value for AT&T’s remaining communication business. The analyst sees an attractive risk/reward at current levels, and in March kept an ‘Overweight’ rating on the stock with a $28 price target.
Reporting its fourth quarter earnings on January 26, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) recorded earnings per share of $0.78, which exceeded analysts’ estimates by $0.02. Revenue of $40.96 billion for the quarter was also above consensus estimates by $503.60 million.
Investors were seen piling into AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). 70 hedge funds held positions in the firm in the fourth quarter, as compared to 66 hedge funds a quarter ago. Citadel Investment Group, the leading shareholder of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) in Q4 2021, upped its stake by 26% over the previous quarter to consist of 43.79 million shares worth $1.07 billion.
Here is what Weitz Investment Management had to say about AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) in its Q4 2021 investor letter:
“After several quarters of pandemic-induced outsized growth, new broadband connection growth has slowed for U.S. cable operators. This slower growth has coincided with a renewed push by competitors like Verizon and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) to offer high-speed data (either via wireless connects or by building new fiber-optic networks).”
Along with Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a leading communication stock on the radar of investors.
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Disclosure. None. 10 Best Communication Stocks To Buy Now is originally published on Insider Monkey.