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AT&T Brings Xandr Invest to Expand Advertising Footprint

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AT&T Inc.’s (T - Free Report) advertising and analytics division Xandr recently unveiled an ad-buying platform, Xandr Invest, per Reuters. The latest move is aimed at attracting advertisers with exceptional access to the telecom behemoth’s customer data, while facilitating businesses to purchase ad space across varied formats.

AT&T has been actively working to leverage the inherent potential of its Xandr unit to offer its broad array of customers with enriching content. Xandr boasts an innovative cross-platform technology, enabling marketers to trade premium inventory in a transparent and automated environment.

The new-of-its-kind advertising unit has imbibed four key advantages from its parent organization — data, premium content, advanced advertising technology and distribution network — for more than 170 million direct customer relationships across wireless, video and broadband.

Markedly, the new platform will allow advertisers to put ads on premium and brand content on AT&T-owned assets such as TV networks CNN, TBS and TNT. Also, it will be the only ad-buying platform for Community — Xandr’s premium video marketplace.

Xandr Invest is aligned to merge AT&T’s two different buyouts — media company Time Warner and ad technology company AppNexus — to grow its business beyond a wireless service provider. The platform includes an offering named programmatic guaranteed, which will likely enable advertisers to reserve ads on premium content that may have limited supply.

At the same time, AT&T is likely to face stiff competition within the advertising space from Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google and Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) , which reportedly together controlled about 60% of the U.S. Internet advertising market in 2018.

While ads on conventional live television are not expected to be available on Xandr Invest at launch, it will be covered over time. As live TV is added to Xandr Invest, it will eventually allow advertisers to buy live TV ads through the ad-buying platform without going through a sales team.

With a focused roadmap, AT&T is on track to transform itself from a leading U.S. communications service provider to a media and advertising company. It has long-term EPS growth expectation of 4.5%. Driven by diligent execution of operational strategies, the stock has rallied 11.9% compared with the industry’s rise of 8.4% in the year-to-date period.

AT&T currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the industry is T-Mobile US, Inc. (TMUS - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

T-Mobile has long-term earnings growth expectation of 13%.

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