AT&T Report Shows Customers Choosing Cheaper Plans

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AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) reported first-quarter 2015 results after markets closed on Wednesday. The telecom giant posted adjusted diluted quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $0.63 on revenues of $32.6 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.71 on revenues of $32.48 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $0.62 on revenues of $32.84 billion.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported quarterly EPS of $0.61, which included a one-time gain of $0.05 per share on a tax item and one-time charges of $0.03 per share for voluntary employee separations and $0.04 for merger-related expenses.

Wireline revenues totaled $14.1 billion in the quarter, down 3.1% year-over-year. Operating margin was flat at 10%.
Wireless revenues totaled $18.2 billion for the quarter, up 1.8% year-over-year. Service revenues fell 3.7% to $14.8 billion as customers moved to the company’s lower priced plans. Wireless equipment revenues rose 36.1% to $3.4 billion. Operating expenses rose 7.2% in the wireless segment and operating income fell 12%.

AT&T said it added a net 4411,000 postpaid wireless customers in the quarter, down from 625,000 net additions in the first quarter last year. The company connected a total of 945,000 new devices in the quarter, including 684,000 connected cars.

The company’s CEO said:

The repositioning of our wireless customer base to no-device-subsidy plans drove industry-leading postpaid churn. IP technologies continue to transform our wireline operations, expand our broadband base and drive strong demand for strategic business services. Plus, we established a good foothold in the Mexican wireless market with our acquisition of Iusacell and we are on track to close our acquisition of Nextel’s Mexico operations shortly. This, along with our expectation that we’ll gain final approval of the DIRECTV deal in the second quarter, adds to our confidence that we’re on track to be a very different company uniquely positioned for growth.

The company said only that “full-year standalone guidance” was “on track,” but did not offer any specific numbers. The consensus estimates for the second quarter call for EPS of $0.63 on revenues of $32.99 billion. For the full year, estimated EPS totals $2.50 on revenues of $134.29 billion

Shares were up about 2% at $33.45 in after-hours trading, after closing at $32.86. The stock’s 52-week range is $32.07 to $37.48. Prior to the release Thomson/Reuters had a consensus price target of $34.25 on the company’s shares.

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