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Will AT&T, Verizon or Comcast Show Strongest Growth? — Jeff Kagan

Communications companies in wireless, telecom, Internet and Pay TV are changing. Which will show the strongest growth going forward, AT&T, Verizon or Comcast?
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.

Image: Game of Thrones. Source: AT&T WarnerMedia

Buying stocks of communications companies like AT&T and Verizon used to be easy. All phone companies and all cable TV companies stayed in their lanes in different regions of the USA and were relatively easy to analyze. Looking forward, AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are on very different growth paths. So, let’s take a closer look at the differences among these three companies and my growth expectations for each.

All three companies are good investments, but for different reasons. Knowing the difference is important. Their performance going forward will be measured differently than they have been.

AT&T and Verizon started in the telephone business. Then they expanded to wireless, Internet, pay TV and more, both on the consumer and business side. Comcast started as a cable TV company, and it expanded as well.

During the last several years, we have seen their growth paths for the future take different directions and these companies should, accordingly, be evaluated differently going forward.

AT&T WarnerMedia, AT&T TV, HBO Max shows wide growth potential

AT&T and AT&T Mobility acquired DirecTV and Time Warner. They changed the name to WarnerMedia and that gave them a new growth path. It starts with their core business of wireless, telephone, VoIP and Internet, and now are expanding into AT&T TV, HBO Max, Warner Brothers, CNN and a giant library of content.

Like it has done in the past, AT&T WarnerMedia is taking a giant leap into tomorrow. The company is transforming the industries it leads. Going forward, I think it’s clear it has what it needs to be a leader in the marketplace.

Re-creating and expanding the marketplace in new directions is what AT&T does. The company did this fifteen years ago when small Baby Bell SBC acquired BellSouth, Cingular and AT&T. The combined entity then changed its name to AT&T and has been growing and leading the wireless and communications space ever since.

Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal

This is similar to what Comcast did with its acquisition of NBC Universal. Today, it is not just a cable TV company like Charter Spectrum, Altice and Cox. Rather, it’s a leader in the changing marketplace going forward like AT&T is.

With its move into wireless with Xfinity Mobile and NBC Universal, Comcast is positioning itself for growth going forward. The company has separated itself from other cable TV competitors and its growth track looks much different.

Verizon more conservative and growth, therefore, more limited in scope

Verizon seems to be taking more conservative steps toward tomorrow under CEO Hans Vestberg, who has been in the big chair less than two years. In the last several years Verizon has taken some very big steps in the wrong direction with the acquisition of AOL and Yahoo. These two leaders of yesterday are no longer providing any growth to Verizon.

They dragged Verizon and Verizon Wireless down for many years. Now under the new CEO, the company seems to be taking a more wireless-centric position, not expanding into the world of pay TV, news and entertainment. Not yet anyway.

Verizon does sell FiOS which is an Internet based pay TV service. This is a good service, but it has been for around a decade and has not made much of a dent in the pay TV industry.

That means even though AT&T and Verizon both remain leaders in wireless, telecom and Internet, the similarities stop there.

AT&T, Verizon, Comcast taking different paths to tomorrow

The communications space has been growing and changing, decade after decade. It is currently in the early stages of another dramatic growth wave. Some companies embrace this change wave more and better than others.

Going forward, AT&T and Verizon both have a new CEO to lead their companies into tomorrow. That means we can expect change going forward. Comcast does not have a new CEO which means dramatic change is less likely.

AT&T WarnerMedia is taking a bold approach into tomorrow. If successful, it could become one of the great growth leaders and success stories of the next generation. Either way, the company is growing far beyond its traditional industry space.

Comcast NBC Universal looks very similar to AT&T in its growth potential and trajectory.

Verizon, after licking its wounds from AOL and Yahoo, seems to be taking a much more conservative, slow growth strategy. At least for now.

So, industries are changing and coming together. Industry leaders are changing into something much larger and most likely more successful.

All three remain leaders in their wireless, telecom, Internet and pay TV spaces going forward. AT&T and Comcast, however, are expanding their space much faster and much larger than Verizon is.

So, while AT&T and Comcast have a much larger potential upside, Verizon is what they consider a safe bet with a more limited upside potential.

Jeff Kagan is an columnist. Kagan is an Industry Analyst, Thought Leader and Influencer focused on Wireless, Telecom, Pay TV, Cloud, AI, IoT, Tele Health, Healthcare, Automotive and Self-Driving cars. Email him at [email protected] His web site is Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn


Equities Columnist: Jeff Kagan

Source: Equities News

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