AT&T Earnings Fall Just Short of Expectations

On Tuesday, AT&T posted quarterly revenue and earnings that fell just short of Wall Street expectations.

The telecommunications giant posted earnings per share of 74 cents while Wall Street was expecting 75 cents. Revenue for the company was just shy of $39.67 billion, while analysts were expecting $40.1 billion. Last year for the same quarter, AT&T posted 74 cents in earnings per share, with revenue of just over $40.88 billion.

Net additions for wireless service were 3 million, while expectations were for just 1.97 million. Mobility postpaid subscriber loss or postpaid churn rate was expected to be 1.08% but came in at just 0.84%.

The postpaid churn rate is the percentage of subscribers that cancel service, and with that coming in less than what Wall Street expected it was better for the company.

Although revenue and earnings were only slightly below expectations on Wall Street, AT&T kept its guidance for the full year. Analysts project AT&T will post earnings for the full year of $2.93 a share, with revenue reaching $160.85 billion.

After earnings for AT&T were posted shares of the wireless giant dropped 1% in trading afterhours.

On Monday, the telecommunications giant extended a deadline to close it acquisition of Time Warner amidst pending approval by regulators.

The two companies reached an agreement of $85 billion during October of 2016 and gave themselves one year to have the deal close. The original one-year deadline concluded on October 22.

During its earnings call, AT&T CFO John Stephens told analysts that the company still is expecting the deal to be completed by the end of 2017.

However, the company faces headwinds politically amidst increased scrutiny over mega-mergers. Just after the deal was announced for the first time last year, then-presidential candidate and now President Donald Trump said that his administration would not give its approval to the deal.

Deals of blockbuster proportion are being targeted as well by the Democrats. In July, Democrats issued a new economic platform that included a push to include post-merger reviews. A part of that agenda calls for the use of a competition advocate that Democrats are calling the “Trust Buster.”

Thus far during 2017, AT&T shares have dropped by approximately 18% and on Tuesday, the stock touched a new intraday low of 52 weeks when it fell to $34.85.

 

Competition in the wireless industry has heated up over the past three to four years as more and more people are using smartphones for nearly all their online searches, payments and more.

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