Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) and AT&T (NYSE:T), two telecom giants, have carved up the Time Warner empire. Charter bought Time Warner Cable, which was spun off from Time Warner in 2009, along with its sister company Bright House Networks in 2016. AT&T bought the rest of Time Warner in 2018.
Charter and AT&T made those acquisitions to counter cord cutters. Charter’s takeover of TWC made it the second-largest cable provider in the U.S. AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner’s media assets formed the foundation of its new streaming ecosystem.
But over the past five years, Charter’s stock has soared 240% as AT&T’s stock declined about 14%. Charter doesn’t pay any dividends, but AT&T’s stock only delivered a dismal total return of 15% during that period even reinvesting its hefty dividends.
Charter might seem like a better investment than AT&T. But past performance never guarantees future gains, so