Published: Wed, April 26, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

AT&T revenue misses estimates as customers keep phones longer

AT&T revenue misses estimates as customers keep phones longer

However, earnings for the quarter came in line with estimates, while revenues fell short.

Net income attributable to AT&T was $3.47 billion, or 56 cents a share, down from $3.80 billion, or 61 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

DirecTV had 21.012 million domestic subs as of the end of March, flat sequentially, compared with 328,000 net adds in the year-earlier period. Postpaid phone churn hit a best ever 0.9% in the US, while overall wireless postpaid churn was 1.12% including tablet churn.

"In a very competitive quarter, we continued to execute on our goals of driving efficiencies in our business while growing adjusted earnings per share", said Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chairman and CEO.

Stephenson cited AT&T's planned acquisitions of Fiber Tower and Straight Path. In the same period from previous year, AT&T reported $0.72 in EPS and $40.53 in revenue.

The only part of the outlook that is new is that AT&T also said it will "no longer provide consolidated revenue guidance primarily due to the unpredictability of wireless handset sales".

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AT&T added 2.7 million customers, on a "gross" basis, of which 2.1 million in the US, driven by the "pre-paid" variety. AT&T also said it had 1.8 million connected devices on the 2G network it shut down in January; those 2G customers were removed from the company's subscriber count at the beginning of the year.

AT&T and industry leader Verizon Communications Inc VZ.N are battling Sprint Corp S.N and T-Mobile US Inc TMUS.O for market share in a mature USA wireless market where most USA consumers already have cellphones.

AT&T finally made its unlimited-data plan available to all customers in the first quarter after offering it only to subscribers of its DirecTV service.

The telco ended the quarter with more than 82 million business wireless subscribers.

Among individual areas of the company, AT&T pulled in $9.02 billion in video entertainment revenues, up 1.3%, and high-speed Internet revenues of $1.94 billion, up 7.7%.

Looking forward to full year 2017, AT&T continues to expect adjusted earnings growth in the mid-single digit range.

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