Stock Option Advisory

Which Companies Benefit from Nationwide High-Speed Internet?

The Federal Communications Commission, with the support of the Obama administration, has made a commitment to make high-speed, broadband Internet affordable and available to everyone. This initiative is part of the Obama administrations’ plan to help spur economic growth by creating jobs and encouraging innovation. The companies who are most likely to benefit from the implementation of this plan are AT&T Inc. (T), Verizon Communications (VZ), Windstream Corp. (WIN), and General Cable Corp. (BGC).

AT&T Inc. (T) is one of the leading providers of telecommunications services in the United States and internationally. The company’s wire line segment offers high speed Internet connection through their DSL/broadband network, as well as dialup Internet access and Wi-Fi products. In addition to having this catalyst in place to help propel the stock, AT&T is currently offering its shareholders a 6.3% dividend yield while they wait for this plan to come to fruition.

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Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) is a leading provider of communications services in the United States and internationally. Like AT&T, Verizon’s wire line segment provides users with high-speed Internet access. As of the end of 2008, Verizon’s wire line network had approximately 36 million wire line access users and 8.5 million broadband users, with their Domestic Wireless segment serving approximately 80 million customers. Verizon also offers its shareholders a nice dividend of 5.7% while they wait for this catalyst to drive the stock price higher.

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Windstream Corp. (WIN) is a rural telecommunications provider whose services include local phone service, high-speed Internet access, and cable television service. In addition, the company also provides telecommunications equipment, which includes high-speed Internet modems and voice over Internet telephone systems. This is a small and localized company which operates mainly in rural areas. This is one of the areas that will likely see the greatest growth when trying to expand and offer more affordable high-speed Internet access across the United States.

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General Cable Corp. (BGC) provides copper, aluminum, and fiber optic wire and cable products worldwide. General Cable is one of the leading providers of telecommunications exchange cables and high bandwidth twisted copper and fiber optic cables. In order for this high-speed Internet initiative to be successful, it is going to take a great deal of telecommunications infrastructure, which is good news for General Cable. Their broad range of industry-standard, telecommunications cables ensure reliable, cost effective performance. While this isn’t the most exciting industry to invest in, this high-speed Internet initiative should get investors excited about the opportunities available to General Cable and returns they should see from it.

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Some of the other smaller telecommunications companies, such as Qwest Communications (Q), which provides fiber optic broadband cables and other telecommunications equipment and services, and Sprint Nextel Corp. (S), which offers wireless and wire line communications services in the United States and internationally, will also likely benefit from this nationwide high-speed Internet plan. However, their exposure will likely be limited due to the size and scope of their competitors like AT&T and Verizon.

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Investing in Internet equipment in the stock market can be very volatile. Investors in this market segment can protect their investments with stock options. Stock options can provide stock insurance for a stock investing portfolio. One of many trading strategies for protecting an investment portfolio is using married puts. Married puts combine a stock with a put option to provide an investment with unlimited upside potential and with exposure to a limited downside. The married puts strategy aids investors in capital preservation. Investors can combine the married puts strategy with the covered call investing strategy to generate monthly income which is protected from a large loss.

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[tags] Federal Communications Commission, broadband Internet, telecommunications, Internet, DSL, Wi-Fi, rural telecommunications, fiber optic, BGC, General Cable Corp., Q, Qwest Comm. Intl., S, Sprint Nextel Corp., T, AT&T Corp., VZ, Verizon Wireless, WIN, Windstream Corp. [/tags]

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