Wednesday, July 26, 2017

AT&T's Quarterly Profit Tops Estimates

AT&T Inc's quarterly profit topped Wall Street estimates on Tuesday as the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier lowered operating costs and introduced new promotions bundling video with phone service that helped it compete in a fierce market for customers, according to Reuters.

AT&T is battling industry leader Verizon Communications Inc and smaller rivals Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc for customers in a market where most people already have cell phones.

Verizon in February reintroduced an unlimited data plan for the first time in more than five years, and other carriers have since then sweetened their own offers.

AT&T, which is in the process of buying Time Warner Inc for $85.4 billion in an effort to turn itself into a media powerhouse, has sought to compete by bundling mobile service with video entertainment.

In June, it announced that it was offering its unlimited wireless plan with its internet streaming service DirecTV Now for an additional $10 a month.

Such product bundles helped win new subscribers as well as keep hold of old ones, Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said on a post-earnings conference call with analysts.

The company lost 199,000 video subscribers in the period overall. Its DirecTV Now streaming service added 152,000 subscribers, bringing the total to 500,000 since the service was launched in November. But that failed to offset losses by its satellite and U-verse pay-TV offerings.

Net income attributable to AT&T rose to $3.9 billion, or 63 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $3.4 billion, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier.

AT&T continues to expect the Time Warner deal to close by year-end.

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