AT&T unexpectedly loses postpaid subscribers in first quarter

FSMNews

FSMNews

Excluding merger-and integration-related and other items, AT&T earned 74 cents a share, up two pennies the year-ago period and in-line with the average analyst estimate on Thomson Reuters.

The company said it lost 61,000 postpaid subscribers, or those who pay monthly bills, in North America on a net basis in the first quarter. The customer erosion still weighed on sales, with the company posting revenue of $39.4 billion, trailing the $40.6 billion seen by analysts.

Revenue in the three months ended in March fell 3%, year over year, to $39.4 billion, yielding EPS of 74 cents.

The company's shares were last up more than 1 percent in extended trading.

During Q1, AT&T reported 2.7 million wireless net adds, with 2.1 million net adds in the USA, driven by prepaid and connected devices, and 633,000 net adds in Mexico.

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Increasing wireless competition with the introduction of unlimited plans has been a theme in first-quarter earnings call.

"On the Time Warner deal, approval is moving along as expected", Stephenson said on the call.

"As we bring Time Warner in the family, we are convinced we can really enhance Time Warner's revenue streams by virtue of customer data and viewership data on the distribution side of the house", Stephenson said. As the wireless industry gets more saturated and consumers also ditch AT&T's pay-TV services for online alternatives, the results highlight why AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson has been looking to own content rather than just distribute it. AT&T has said the deal would close by the end of the year. The telecom acknowledged that it knows about the offer and will evaluate how to respond. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation's fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation's leading high speed Internet access and voice services.

DirecTV, though, remained flat at 21 million subscribers and DirecTV Now, the recently launched online service, helped to offset defections from U-verse, though the company did not disclose specifics.

This is breaking news.

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