Telco Stock Selection a “Game of Inches” in 2017: RBC

While he forecasts stable growth for the wireless market in 2017, RBC analyst Drew McReynolds has had a hard time picking his preferred stock among Bell, Rogers and Telus (via Financial Post). According to McReynolds, the telecom market stock selection “is boiling down to a ‘game of inches’, with it being increasingly difficult for any one stock to ‘break out of the pack.'”

Rogers Bell Telus iPhone

RBC downgraded Bell and Rogers, lowering both price targets by $1 to $60 and $55, respectively. Telus got a price target boost of $1 from $43 to $44.

Quebecor’s stock was updated by RBC’s McReynolds as top pick, and Shaw’s to outperform, as both wireless players have room for growth.

The growth in the wireless market will be driven this year by data consumption and “disciplined pricing”, according to McReynolds. There are some risks, though, which could affect the telcos’ stock prices in 2017: an expected rise in government bond yields, intense competition and cord cutting, as well as the CRTC’s ruling to mandate incumbents’ wholesale access rates to smaller wireless carriers.

According to McReynolds, competition will heat up between cable and telecom companies in both Eastern and Western Canada in the television and internet segments.

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