Telephone & Data Systems (NYSE: TDS) and BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, profitability, dividends, risk and analyst recommendations.


This table compares Telephone & Data Systems and BlackBerry’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Telephone & Data Systems 3.03% 1.30% 0.67%
BlackBerry 37.36% 3.70% 2.44%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

82.3% of Telephone & Data Systems shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 59.3% of BlackBerry shares are held by institutional investors. 16.4% of Telephone & Data Systems shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 22.7% of BlackBerry shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


Telephone & Data Systems pays an annual dividend of $0.62 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. BlackBerry does not pay a dividend. Telephone & Data Systems pays out 47.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Telephone & Data Systems has increased its dividend for 43 consecutive years.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Telephone & Data Systems and BlackBerry’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Telephone & Data Systems $5.04 billion 0.62 $153.00 million $1.32 21.45
BlackBerry $1.31 billion 5.17 -$1.21 billion $0.54 23.35

Telephone & Data Systems has higher revenue and earnings than BlackBerry. Telephone & Data Systems is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than BlackBerry, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Telephone & Data Systems and BlackBerry, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Telephone & Data Systems 0 0 1 0 3.00
BlackBerry 3 7 4 0 2.07

BlackBerry has a consensus price target of $10.73, indicating a potential downside of 14.88%. Given BlackBerry’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe BlackBerry is more favorable than Telephone & Data Systems.

Volatility & Risk

Telephone & Data Systems has a beta of 0.77, suggesting that its share price is 23% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, BlackBerry has a beta of 1.12, suggesting that its share price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500.


BlackBerry beats Telephone & Data Systems on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Telephone & Data Systems Company Profile

Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. is a diversified telecommunications company. The Company is engaged in conducting its Wireless operations through its subsidiary, United States Cellular Corporation (U.S. Cellular), as well as providing its wireline services, cable services, and hosted and managed services (HMS), through its subsidiary, TDS Telecommunications Corporation (TDS Telecom). It operates through four business segments: U.S. Cellular, Wireline, Cable, and Hosted and Managed Services. U.S. Cellular provides service to postpaid and prepaid customers. Wireline operations provide retail telecommunications services to both residential and commercial customers. Wireline offers services, including broadband, video, voice and network access services. Cable offers broadband, video and voice services under TDS and BendBroadband brand names. It provides a range of information technology (IT) services, including colocation, and cloud and hosting solutions through its HMS business.

BlackBerry Company Profile

BlackBerry Limited (BlackBerry) provides mobile communications solutions. The Company is engaged in the sale of smartphones and enterprise software and services. The Company’s products and services include Enterprise Solutions and Services, Devices, BlackBerry Technology Solutions and Messaging. It is engaged in providing enterprise mobility management (EMM) and mobile security, and offers a portfolio of enterprise software solutions and services that can be deployed across a range of ecosystems and devices, including BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 12 and Good Platforms, BES12 Cloud, enterprise file-sync-and-share (EFSS), SecuSUITE for Enterprise, Enhanced subscriber identity module (SIM)-Based Licensing (ESBL), WorkLife by BlackBerry solution and Professional Cybersecurity Services. The BlackBerry Technology Solutions business unit consists of five units: QNX, Certicom, Paratek, the BlackBerry IoT Platform and Intellectual Property and Patent Licensing (IPPL).

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