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AT&T Touts Customer Gains, but Earnings Miss Estimates

AT&T added nearly two million customers, including 785,000 postpaid customers, as well as more than a half-million cars.


AT&T’s earnings report on Wednesday highlighted both a growth in wireless subscribers and a shift away from subsidized plans.

The company said it added two million customers, including 785,000 postpaid customers, in the quarter, with its lowest-ever churn rate of just under one percent.

That helped the company report net income of $3 billion, or 58 cents per share, on revenue of $33 billion. That includes a five-cent-per-share hit, mostly costs related to the company’s Cricket acquisition. Analysts had been hoping for earnings of 64 cents per share, according to Zacks.

AT&T also cut its revenue target for the year, saying it now expects a three percent to four percent increase, after previously forecasting a five percent gain.

Shares of AT&T fell in after-hours trading following the earnings announcement, slipping more than one percent to $34.

Here are a few other numbers that stood out:

  • About 460,000 customers, or seven percent of smartphone additions, were people bringing their own devices. That’s four times the pace of a year ago.
  • AT&T added nearly 1.2 million new postpaid smartphones, with smartphones accounting for 91 percent of postpaid phone sales.
  • Nearly 47 million connections — or 62 percent of postpaid subscribers — were on one of the company’s Mobile Value shared-data plans. More than half of shared-data plans were of the 10 gigabyte or higher variety.
  • Showing strength beyond phones, AT&T added nearly 1.3 million “connected devices,” including more than half a million cars.

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