The Sunday Brief

Connecting technology, telecommunications, and the internet

Value Creation – Long-term charts, Fab Five vs. Telco Top Five (Feb 18)

by | Feb 19, 2022 | TSB

Attached is the end of 2018 to current spreadsheet of value creation for each stock in the Fab Five (Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft) as well as the Telco Top Five (AT&T, Charter, Comcast, T-Mobile, and Verizon).

This version will be updated in two weeks to include historical dividends, as many in the telco industry will (wrongly) make the assertion that dividends will make the story better. Surprisingly, the Fab Five now may more dividends as a group than their telco peers. For 2021, here are the total dividends paid:

  • Fab Five: Microsoft = $17.7 billion (last 6 months annualized), Apple = $14.5 billion (last quarter annualized). Amazon, Facebook and Google do not currently pay dividends. Total Fab Five Dividends = $32-33 billion.
  • Telco Top Five (all are actual 2021 per their 10-K filings): AT&T = $15.1 billion; Comcast = $4.5 billion; Verizon = $10.4 billion. Charter and T-Mobile do not currently pay dividends. Total Telco Top Five dividends = $30 billion.

Dividends are almost a perfect offset. The Fab Five clearly relies on equity market/ stock price growth to return capital to shareholders, while the Telco Top Five are more reliant on dividends as a means to create value. We anticipate this will change slightly with AT&T’s new dividend level, and some Fab Five companies might increase their dividends in 2022.

The bottom line remains the same. Since the beginning of 2019 (including over a trillion dollars of losses year to date), the Fab Five has generated $5.4 trillion in increased market capitalization, while the Telco Top Five has grown their market capitalization by $183 billion.

More commentary to come in future issues. Welcome any feedback (sundaybrief@gmail.com).

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