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Top Ten Telecom Stocks 2007

Light Ranting
Light Ranting
Light Ranting
12/31/2007

3:25 PM -- It's the end of the year. Time to see what happened with Light Reading's Top Ten Telecom Stocks.

Back in the beginning of January 2007, we put together a list of 10 stocks we thought would take advantage of the global telecom boom.

The year is over, so we've tallied the results. Inexplicably, the U.S. markets were open normal hours today, closing at 4 p.m. ET, but we made our calculations as of 2 p.m., figuring not much would change. The methodology is simple -- the difference between what the stock was priced at the open on January 19, the day after our article was published, and what it was priced as of 2 p.m. today.

Our portfolio ran the gamut from stinkers (Tellabs, down 35 percent!) to screamers (Emerging Markets Telecom fund, up 47 percent!). There was also much ado about nothing. Consider for a moment that with all the attention paid to Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), which experienced a 52-day trading range of 24.82 to 34.24, it finished the year basically flat.

Biggest regret? That's easy. Not owning BlackBerry . (See 2007 Top Ten: Stock Rockets.)

Here's what we got:

Table 1: Light Reading's Top Ten

Company Symbol Price (January 19, Open) Price (Dec 31, Close) Change
American Tower Corp. AMT 39.64 42.28 +7%
Amdocs Ltd. DOX 33.82 34.38 +2%
Cisco Inc. CSCO 26.45 27.10 +2%
NeuStar Inc. NSR 30.38 28.59 -6%
KPN Telecom NV KPN 15.01 18.12 +21%
Tellabs Inc. TLAB 10.07 6.57 -35%
Emerging Telecom Fund ETF 18.36 27.10 +47%
Arris Group ARRS 13.08 9.94 -24%
Time Warner Cable Inc. TWTC 21.2 20.38 -4%
Verizon Communications Inc. VZ 37.57 43.86 +17%




Total annual return of the portfolio: +7%.

The good news is that our returns did not include dividends, which were considerable on some of our stocks. KPN is paying about 3 percent and Verizon is paying 4 percent. Throw in the dividends, and we could have been closer to 10 percent.

Are we happy about that? Not really. If we'd actively managed the thing, it would have been nice to throw out the stinker -- Tellabs -- when the buyout fell apart.

For reference, the Dow Jones US Telecom Index (IYZ), was flat for the year. The iShares S&P Global Telecommunications Sector Index Fund (IXP), was up 30 percent for the year.

So clearly, the bulk of telecom gains in 2007 came in International markets, where we did not hold enough.

— R. Scott Raynovich, Chief Telecom Stock Jock, Light Reading

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