AT&T Stock Hammers Verizon’s in 2012

AT&T, a telecom bellwether, is faring nicely in the stock market this year thus far.

In spite of its failed $39 billion merger with T-Mobile USA, the stock is up 8.5 percent year to date. Shares closed at $32.81 Wednesday.

AT&T’s stock gains are slightly better than the Dow Jones Industry Average (5.05 percent) year to date.

Verizon hasn’t been so fortunate; its stock is only up 0.32 percent. Shares (VZ) closed at $40.25 on the New York Stock Exchange.

In the S&P 500, telecom stocks have gained 4.7 percent this year, but they are lagging behind the index’s average (8.44 percent in price returns), according to S&P data as of May 8. The information technology and financial sectors are doing much better with 14.44 percent and 15.69 percent gains, respectively.

Over the last month, though, Dallas-based AT&T and New York-based Verizon have been kicking some metaphorical butt in the stock market.

Since April 9, Verizon and AT&T are the second- and third-best performers among the 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks, climbing 8.2 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, CNNMoney reported. Meanwhile, Apple’s star has lost some of its luster: Shares have fallen by more than 11 percent.

The stock gains indicate a positive reaction to first-quarter earnings and annual shareholder meetings at AT&T and Verizon in recent weeks.

Investors in both telecom giants have benefitted from gains over the last year as well. AT&T’s stock has risen more than 4-and-a-half percent while Verizon’s stock has climbed more than 8 percent.

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