Telecom & Wireless

AT&T Earnings Not Enough for Investors

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) reported third-quarter financial results after markets closed Tuesday. The company said that it had $0.74 in earnings per share (EPS) and $39.67 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $0.75 in EPS and $40.12 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.74 in EPS and $40.89 billion in revenue.

Excluding the impact of hurricanes and earthquakes in the third quarter, revenues would have been $39.8 billion.

The company posted its best-ever third-quarter postpaid phone churn of 0.84%, and continued growth of the postpaid smartphone base.

During the quarter there were 3.0 million total wireless (prepaid and postpaid) net subscriber additions, with 2.3 million in the U.S., driven by connected devices. There were nearly 700,000 net adds in Mexico.

In terms of the Entertainment Group segment, AT&T reported 125,000 IP broadband net adds, or 29,000 total broadband net adds. Nearly 300,000 DirecTV Now net adds helped to offset the traditional TV subscriber decline.

The company did not give any guidance in the report, but there are consensus estimates calling for $0.67 in EPS and $41.4 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter.

Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO, commented:

We look forward to closing our acquisition of Time Warner and bringing together premium content with world-class distribution to deliver a better entertainment experience for consumers and more effective targeted advertising. We’re also on track to have one of the largest high-speed internet networks in the U.S., reaching more than 50 million customer locations with competitive high speeds. This expansion will make our bundled video, mobile and broadband services even more compelling.

Shares of AT&T closed Tuesday down about 1% at $34.88, with a consensus analyst price target of $41.03 and a 52-week range of $34.81 to $43.03. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was initially down 1% at $34.50 in the after-hours session.