AT&T (T ) has long been one of the most talked about stocks on Wall Street. Not only is it one of the largest telecom providers in the world, but it also offers a handsome dividend yield for its investors. Making its public debut on July 19th, 1984, the stock has become a staple of many portfolios and major benchmarks across the industry.
Below, we detail AT&T’s history including the need-to-know stats and performance metrics since its IPO.
AT&T's Stock History
AT&T has completed 30 full calendar years as a publicly traded stock; over that time period it notched 23 annual gains [see also 40 Things Every Dividend Investor Should Know About Dividend Investing].
Looking at the monthly price performance of the stock gives more detail on where the stock has excelled and dragged over the years. AT&T’s stock price history shows notable run-ups during the Internet Bubble and just before the 2008 Financial Crisis, though it would eventually break those highs.
Diving further into T’s performance we outline its best and worst tradings sessions of all time.
T saw its best trading days in 2000 and 2008, both periods where the stock skyrocketed before taking a big hit in the ensuing recessions.
This is one of the more surprising charts, as no dates after 2002 appear; T was not quite as hard hit as others were during the 2008 crash.
AT&T’s Worst Day Ever (T)
As displayed in the chart above, AT&T’s worst trading day came on December 19th, 2000 when it lost 12.66%. That trading session came on the back of news that AT&T failed to give the FCC “‘irrevocable commitment’ for how the company would come into compliance with federal limits on the reach that one cable company can have” wrote the Associated Press. At the time, the company was the largest cable operator in the U.S., and the government required the firm to conform to satellite and subscribers restrictions as a single company can only control 30% of the market share. At that time, AT&T had just recently merged with MediaOne and controlled 42% of the market [see also 7 Charts That Compare AT&T and Verizon].
To fall below that number, AT&T announced that it would need to spin off Liberty Media Group; if that was not able to be completed by May 1st of the following year, regulators dictated that AT&T would need to sell its 25% stake in Time Warner. This news, coupled with what was already a rough day for the Street, created the stock’s worst trading day of all time.
Here is what T looked like in comparison to the three major U.S. benchmarks on 12/19/2000:
For a blue chip name like AT&T, the stock has a surprising amount of volatility, as it moves between 1% and 3% on more than a third of its daily trading sessions.
Finally, we display T’s 10 most actively traded sessions. What is most intriguing about the following chart is that the volume spikes do not coincide with any of its best or worst sessions ever.
AT&T's Dividend History
With an annual dividend payout nearing $10 billion, T’s dividend is one of its most exciting features. The company has increased its dividend almost every year that it has been publicly traded, with just one decrease that immediately followed a stock split. The following chart shows T’s dividend growth rate over the last decade:
The Bottom Line
T is one of the most popular and heavily-traded stocks in the investing world. The company has long valued its dividend payout and figures to continue offering investors a strong and steady payout for years to come.
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