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UBS Analysts Bullish on Regional Telecom Carriers


18/06/2007

Regional telecom incumbents like Cincinnati Bell, Embarq, and Windstream are poised for an increase in market capitalization over the next 12 months, according to the brokerage firm, UBS.

UBS predicts that these mid-sized telephone and internet providers will see their businesses stabilize in the coming months, and begin returning more cash to shareholders, in the form of high dividends and stock repurchases.

Of the three companies under examination, Cincinnati Bell is reportedly the most likely candidate for an acquisition by either a rival carrier or private equity firm. Such a deal would almost certainly result in a handsome return for existing stockholders.

Embarq Corp., meanwhile, apparently remains significantly undervalued trading at a price of $63.31. UBS has a 12-month target price of $75/share.

Windstream, a largely rural provider that currently trades at just under $15/share and pays one of the industry’s highest dividends, has been rated neutral by UBS. The brokerage expects to see a modest increase in Windstream’s share price over the next year, but growth may be limited by a drop in dividends as the company seeks to buy back shares.



 

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