Event: AT&T (T) announced that the iPhone5 set a sales record on the first day of pre-ordering and over the weekend. There were no specifics in the press release, but the company did say that orders for Apple’s newest phone were greater than previous issues. AT&T’s news comes as no surprise as Apple itself had indicated previously that sales were brisk. Shares of AT&T are down fractionally in pre-market trading on Monday morning.
Analysis: Everyone knows about the Apple story. The release of the newest iPhone has resulted in share gains for Apple and most every other stock associated with the company. Analysts are raising targets and profit estimates across the board. AT&T is perceived to be the weaker link in the cell carrier connections to Apple. Verizon may be getting all of the headlines, but clearly AT&T is not giving up the fight to be the carrier of choice for iPhone users. Shares of AT&T have been trading mostly sideways for much of the summer.
Action: In looking for an opportunity to own the Apple story, AT&T offers a unique opportunity. Shares have not exploded like other names associated with Apple (AAPL) and yet sales at the company are just as likely to benefit from Apple’s success as any other stock. In addition the raging bull market offers few stocks that have lagged the rally. I would look to own shares or call options of AT&T in advance of its third quarter earnings report due to be released in October.