AT&T Continues to Lose Phone Subscribers

FSMNews

FSMNews

Excluding items, earnings per share matched analysts' consensus estimate of 74 cents according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue was expected at $40.53 billion.

In all for the March quarter, AT&T's earned $3.5 billion, or 56 cents a share, down from $3.8 billion, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier. Postpaid phone churn hit a best ever 0.9% in the US, while overall wireless postpaid churn was 1.12% including tablet churn.

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".

The carrier posted 2.1 million overall wireless net adds in the USA, however, driven primarily by prepaid and connected devices, and other 633,000 net wireless adds in Mexico. It was the first time AT&T has lost wireless customers.

Business wireless revenue was down 2.1 percent year over year to $9.4 billion, reflecting lower equipment revenues from lower sales.

Total business wireline revenues were $7.4 billion, down 7 percent year over year.

Internet firms winding up for a fight on 'net neutrality'
Pai has been a critic of the FCC's approach to net neutrality, in which internet providers were classified as common carriers. And he has floated the idea privately to various companies and groups that could be affected by that change in policy.

The company added 115,000 total broadband subs in Q1 as it added 242,000 IP broadband subs amid continued losses of DSL subs.

Stephenson added that the "planned acquisitions of Fiber Tower and Straight Path will add valuable millimeter wave spectrum assets to our 5G tool kit as we lead the way to the next generation of wireless technology".

Smaller rivals like T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) and Sprint Corp (NYSE:S) have engaged in aggressive price wars, and it appears that's catching up to AT&T. Both of the larger companies rolled out their own unlimited offers, though AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said during a call with analysts that "this has made an already competitive market even more so, and our response to the unlimited data plans was probably a little slow".

AT&T is in the midst of acquiring Time Warner for $85 billion, and the telecommunications company said Tuesday that it expects approval from the U.S. Department of Justice this year.

Updated full-year 2017 guidance including mid-sing-digit adjusted EPS growth and free cash flow of $18 billion.

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