In 1987, Black Monday to be exact, I bought some AT&T stock for one reason; Bell Labs and their patent-a-day-for-years history. After 18 or so months I bailed [short-sighted kid]and did as well as if I had put the money in the bank at 5%. Now Bell Labs is the same 'ol quack with new feathers, Lucent. And look what Lucent has been as an investment. So the moral escapes me but I sure do see similarities here; lots of patents, lots of mind-boggling inventions and potential, but will it fly?
Bell Labs helped maintain AT&T at the top of the technology of communications, much as ECD will help its various Joint Ventures remain competitive or insure that they maintain positions at the top of their various technological/product offerings.
AT&T had a lot of well established competition in various areas allied to the researches of Bell Labs, including the Intels, the IBM's, the Hewlett-Packards and many other communications, chip, connector, line, compression, computer and related interative, IT and communications technologies.
As opposed to Bell Labs driving the AT&T edge, ECD is part and parcel of J/V's established with world leaders in the business of business on the basis of unique technologies they developed with applications very distinct, specific, practical, and central to civilized culture, including fundamental breakthroughs approaching the Platonic Ideal in personal and public transportation, energy creation, storage and delivery, IT & Media products and processes, and a sequence of what in effect can be seen as Environmental Comand and Control Systems.
The way it looks right now, ECD would have to be spun off 5 or 6 times over the next 20 to 50 years by various J/V partners and live on royalties alone and new product developments and innovations which fail in the face of overexpansion and big spending before we have to worry about becoming another Lucent.
I don't write Lucent off either, and at the current price, how big a loss can you take over time on a thousand shares ?