Uncertain Times or Not, Cash Flow Matters

Investors tend to focus on earnings and sales. But cash flow is also a critical component of analyzing a company. It shows how money comes in as revenue, is spent on goods and services a company needs to run, and how the remainder ends up on the balance sheet.

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  • A company with strong cash flows has enough money coming out at the end to pay a dividend to shareholders, or buy back shares, after investing in maintaining the company’s growth.

    This earnings season has seen a number of companies report strong cash flow growth. One of them is telecom AT&T (T). The company also beat earnings expectations thanks to improved subscriber growth.

    While shares moved higher on the news, they’re still down about 10 percent over the past year. AT&T now trades at less than 6 times earnings, a hefty valuation discount even for a slow-growth stock like a telecom.

    Action to take: AT&T shares look undervalued here given the company’s improving cash flows. At present, shares yield about 7.8 percent, offering current high income and upside potential for shares.

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  • For traders, shares could continue their recent gains. The January 2024 $17 calls, last going for about $0.17, could see mid-double-digit gains or higher in the coming weeks.


    Disclosure: The author of this article has a position in the company mentioned here, and may further trade after the next 72 hours. The author receives no compensation from any of the companies mentioned in this article.