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Telecom industry also vulnerable.

Laura Holson, in yesterday’s New York Times, wrote:

Communications companies like AT&T and Verizon have long been considered a safe bet in troubled times. But Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, predicts the economic downturn will take its toll on those companies next year as credit becomes harder to get and customers tighten their belts.

Moffett has cut earnings estimates for AT&T and Verizon, saying that both companies will be hurt by lower customer spending.  He also notes that the company most at risk is Sprint Nextel.  Customers have continued to leave, and tighter credit markets aren’t going to help.

Last week on the SquawkBox we also discussed the impact of tightening credit on the build-outs that these carriers require in order to defend against cable.  At this point, cable players are in the drivers seats on high speed internet.  The biggest beneficiary of the current crisis may be the cable companies who have already completed their build-outs.

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