iPhone Activations Help AT&T Earnings

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AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has managed to beat earnings expectations. Earnings hit $6 billion from operations and the report came to $0.62 per share on $31.5 billion in revenues, while the consensus was $0.60 EPS and $31.6 billion. AT&T is also raising its full-year guidance and said that its postpaid churn rate was at a low of only 1.08%. The telecom giant’s cap-ex is being put at the lower end of its $19 billion to $20 billion for the year.

Wireless revenues grew 4.5% to $14.91 billion and data revenues were up almost 7% to $7.98 billion. The traditional voice revenue was down almost 11% to $5.57 billion. Cash from operations was $11.5 billion and free cash flow was $6.5 billion.

As you may guess, AT&T is often used as a barometer for how Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is doing. In the quarter Apple’s iPhone saw 4.7 million activations. Its total subscribers in mobile rose by 678,000, so AT&T counts 105.9 million total wireless subscribers.

AT&T shares are up almost 2% at $35.65 and its indicated dividend yield is almost 5%. AT&T shares have traded in a range of $27.41 to $38.58 over the past 52-weeks.

So here is what is interesting. With revenue so close to estimates and earnings ahead, it sure looks as though you could make the argument that the growth of the iPhone sales is helping add to its bottom line through time. Of course there is a cost associated with new iPhone subscribers, but these are said by the wireless carriers in general to be very profitable customers through time.

JON C. OGG

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