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AT&T Adds 2.1 Million Customers, Though Mostly Cars and Tablets

The company also announced per-share earnings ahead of expectations, while revenue was roughly what analysts were expecting.


AT&T on Thursday said it added 2.1 million customers over the past quarter, though more than half of the new additions were from connected cars, and another 600,000 came from tablets and other non-phone devices.

The company also reported earnings, excluding certain items, of 69 cents per share on revenue of $33 billion for the three months ended June 30. Analysts were looking for per-share earnings of around 63 cents and revenue of $33 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.

AT&T said it has largely made the shift to unsubsidized smartphones, with more than three-quarters of customers on one of its shared data plans and two-thirds of customers adding a smartphone now doing so through the AT&T Next device financing. In all, the company said 96 percent of customers are on either a family plan, a business plan or a shared data plan.

However, AT&T’s customer gains came outside the most lucrative area of core postpaid phone users, with the company gaining ground among prepaid phone customers and those connecting a car or tablet to the network.

Shares of AT&T edged higher in after-hours trading, changing hands recently at $34.50, up 57 cents or more than 1 percent.

AT&T added 1.2 million wireless connections last quarter, though more than half of those gains came from connected cars versus core phone subscribers.

The company has been growing its business outside of the U.S. phone market by acquiring two Mexican carriers; AT&T is also nearing completion of its deal to acquire DirecTV. “Our moves to transform the company are working and working well,” CFO John Stephens said in a conference call with analysts.

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