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Monday, October 23, 2006

The Shorts Dumb Bet On AT&T (T)(BLS)

Short interest in AT&T was up 12.5 million shares to 122.4 million. That makes it the largest short position in any NYSE traded stock.

Someone blundered.

AT&T profits rose more than expected today. Profits rose 58% to $2.4 billion and the quarterly EPS of $.63 beat Wall St. estimates by a nickel a share.

AT&T cut costs more than expected. But, the encouraging news was that wireless and broadband outperformed. Subscribers to high-speed internet were up 26% from the same period last year. Total broadband users hit 8.2 million.

There has been some real anxiety about whether the phone companies would experience slowing demand for high-speed products because of competition from cable which is bundling VoIP, TV, and broadband into one service to the home.

Apparently, at least for now, fears of the cable guy are unfounded.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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