Telephone & Data Systems (NYSE:TDS) and SMARTONE TELECO/S (OTCMKTS:STTFY) are both utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, profitability, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation and institutional ownership.


This table compares Telephone & Data Systems and SMARTONE TELECO/S’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Telephone & Data Systems 2.62% 2.57% 1.39%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Telephone & Data Systems and SMARTONE TELECO/S, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Telephone & Data Systems 1 0 3 0 2.50

Telephone & Data Systems currently has a consensus price target of $37.75, indicating a potential upside of 17.20%. Given Telephone & Data Systems’ higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Telephone & Data Systems is more favorable than SMARTONE TELECO/S.

Volatility and Risk

Telephone & Data Systems has a beta of 1, suggesting that its stock price has a similar volatility profile to the S&P 500.Comparatively, SMARTONE TELECO/S has a beta of 0.15, suggesting that its stock price is 85% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Telephone & Data Systems and SMARTONE TELECO/S’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Telephone & Data Systems $5.11 billion 0.71 $135.00 million $1.17 27.53
SMARTONE TELECO/S $1.28 billion 0.92 $78.62 million N/A N/A

Telephone & Data Systems has higher revenue and earnings than SMARTONE TELECO/S.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

83.4% of Telephone & Data Systems shares are owned by institutional investors. 16.3% of Telephone & Data Systems shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


Telephone & Data Systems pays an annual dividend of $0.66 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. SMARTONE TELECO/S pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.8%. Telephone & Data Systems pays out 56.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Telephone & Data Systems has increased its dividend for 44 consecutive years.


Telephone & Data Systems beats SMARTONE TELECO/S on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Telephone & Data Systems

Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., a telecommunications company, provides wireless, cable and wireline broadband, TV, voice, and hosted and managed services in the United States. It operates through three segments: U.S. Cellular, Wireline, and Cable. The company offers cellular services to postpaid and prepaid customers, including retail consumers, government entities, and small-to-mid-size business customers in industries, such as the construction, retail, agriculture, professional services, and real estate; and national plans with voice, messaging, and data usage options. It also provides wireless devices comprising handsets, tablets, mobile hotspots, home phones, and routers; accessories that include wireless essentials, which comprise cases, screen protectors, chargers, and memory cards, as well as various consumer electronics, such as headphones, smart speakers, wearables, and home automation products. In addition, the company offers telecommunications services to residential and commercial customers, as well as wholesale customers and wireless carriers; broadband and digital television (TV) video services; voice services comprising local and long-distance telephone, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), find me follow me, collaboration, instant messaging, and other services; and network access services. Further, it provides business services, including data networking, Ethernet, broadband access, and VoIP services to small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as operates retail stores and kiosks. The company offers its services to approximately 6 million connections. It sells its products through retail sales, direct sales, third-party retailers, and independent agents, as well as through Website and telesales. The company was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.


SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited, an investment holding company, provides mobile telecommunication services in Hong Kong and Macau. The company offers voice, multimedia, and mobile and fixed fiber broadband services for the consumer and corporate markets. It is also involved in the sale of handsets and accessories; issuance of guaranteed notes; and provision of customer support and telemarketing services. The company was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong. SmarTone Telecommunications Holdings Limited is a subsidiary of Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited.

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