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AT&T (T) Stock Already Flexing Its Time Warner Muscles

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For venerable telecom AT&T (NYSE: T ), the pending mega-merger with media conglomerate Time Warner (NYSE: TWX ) is seen as a must for the firm. As wireless saturation has occurred, T has continued to see its revenues flat-line as rivals have begun cutting prices for their wireless packages. With rivals like T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS ) gaining market share for data and wireless customers, T had its back to the wall.

Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr

And it looks like AT&T is coming out swinging.

While the merger hasn't even officially gone through yet, T has already begun hyping the deal for its current and future customers. With a hefty focus on bundling and streaming top rated shows and movies, AT&T is setting itself up to reap the benefits of being a big time media powerhouse.

For investors, it's exactly what they need to move the needle for T stock and help the firm regain its mojo.

All About Streaming At T

The problem with the wireless space is that it has become commoditized. At this point, everyone's network is pretty much the same. And with TMUS and Sprint (NYSE: S ) in "do or die" mode, price for basic wireless service has cratered over the last couple of years. That's a problem for T as it made a huge chunk of revenue off of data. And you can see how much of a problem for AT&T this has been as the stock has chronically under-performed the S&P 500 by a wide margin.

In order to compete and find growth again, T has undergone a big time transformation. First it bought DirecTV and now it's working on finishing up its merger with Time Warner. That merger comes with a host of media channels, movie franchises and the like.

You can see where this is going.

T will now be able to offer exclusivity for many of TWX programs and movies over its distribution network- which now includes all of DirecTV's customers. Bundling isn't new as cable companies do it all the time. But bundling content along with distribution is. Want to see the latest Warner Brothers movie at home before your friends? How about the latest Game of throne's episode? You can if you're an AT&T customer. And the real win for AT&T is just how it's going to do that.

The name of the game is going to be streaming across multiple devices.

The firm will be able to offer customers the ability to stream movies and shows on their TVs, phones and other devices under one platform. And an idea of how they plan to do that comes courtesy of a blog post by the firm. For an additional $10 per month, its wireless customers can have access to DIRECTV NOW's "Live a Little" plan, which includes more than 60 live streaming channels and 25,000 on demand movies and T.V. shows. This doesn't already include it plans to offer HBO for free to customers as well as its streaming DIRECTV NOW and HBO GO apps.

That price point is significant as none of its major competitor's offers anything close- especially when you consider the discounts for adding wireless, TV and data all together.

The heavy discounting makes perfect sense for its wireless subscriber base. And T knows it.

And It's Already Working For T

While T and TWX merger is still awaiting the last minute checks from the Justice Department, AT&T has already seen some great numbers from just its streaming/wireless bundling before the integration of Time.

Thanks to the package of video and wireless, T managed to add 178,000 domestic branded phones and 267,000 prepaid net additions. Additionally, the packaging helped reduce its churn. AT&T's churn rate was a low of 0.79%- which was one of the lowest recorded in the firm's history.

What's important to realize is that this was a quarter of heavy discounting in the sector. Heck, Sprint even offered free data service for a year . However, T managed to hold its own and actually reduce its churn rate/stop the bleeding. That's great news considering that the firm hasn't begun adding Time Warner's media properties into its mix. Already the model is proving successful.

Buying T Stock

With T just waiting to clear the final hurdles, the firm is setting itself to be a monster. The combination of wireless, content and streaming video is going to help the firm win the next phase of the telecom wars. It's already working and it'll continue to work down the road as more people bundle their services and gains exclusive access.

And that will get T stock out of its funk.

Right now, you can grab T shares at P/ of 18 and a 5% yield. That'll sound like a great bargain down the road as growth finally returns to the aging telecom. And as it returns, investors are paid to wait. In the end, T has made the right moves to keep itself not only relevant, but a thriving member of the new wireless/telecom market.

Disclosure: None

The post AT&T (T) Stock Already Flexing Its Time Warner Muscles appeared first on InvestorPlace .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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