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April 1, 2020, 9:15 a.m. EDT

Verizon stock added to Goldman's 'conviction list' while Comcast falls off

Goldman Sachs analyst Brett Feldman made some changes to his positioning on telecommunications stocks Wednesday, elevating Verizon Communications Inc. shares (NYS:VZ) to Goldman's 'conviction list' while dropping Comcast Corp. (NAS:CMCSA) and Altice USA Inc. (NYS:ATUS) from the list. He also downgraded shares of CenturyLink Inc. and Intelsat SA to sell from neutral. On Verizon, he said that the stock offers "the most attractive combination of total return and risk owing to its stable wireless business, well-covered dividend (4.6% yield) and strong balance sheet." He worries about "cord-cutting, advertising and [small-and medium-sized business] exposure" for Comcast and Altice USA but kept buy ratings on those stocks even while removing them from the conviction list. Feldman is concerned that the COVID-19 outbreak could put additional pressure on CenturyLink's wireline business and thus its earnings, and he has a more downbeat view on Intelsat due to the company's cruise-ship, aviation, and traditional media exposure.

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