AT&T loses subscribers, misses quarterly revenue estimates

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AT&T Inc missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue on Wednesday, after it lost subscribers in nearly all of its main businesses except wireless, where it paid heavily to gain customers through price promotions.

AT&T has reduced its dependency on the phone business by buying media content through its acquisition of Time Warner, yet faces a daunting struggle to find growth as declines in one business offset growth in another.

WarnerMedia, which includes Turner and premium TV channel HBO, reported revenue of $8.38 billion in the quarter, falling short of analysts’ estimates of $8.45 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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The second-largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers added a net 80,000 phone subscribers, surprising on analysts’ forecast of a loss of 44,000 subscribers as its cut the price of plans to combat strong competition in the saturated U.S. market.

However, that meant Mobility, AT&T’s largest segment which includes its wireless business, had revenue of $17.57 billion during the quarter, missing estimates of $17.65 billion.

DirecTV Now, AT&T’s streaming service, lost 83,000 subscribers, more than analysts’ expectation of 82,000 losses.

Net income attributable to AT&T fell to $4.1 billion, or 56 cents per share, from $4.66 billion, or 75 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 86 cents per share, in line with estimates.

Yetunde Adegoke (CNBC)

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