AT&T (NYSE: T) on Tuesday reported a quarterly profit that slightly missed Wall Street expectations as it added fewer customers on contracts and other core plans than it did the year before.
The wireless phone industry has been lowering prices and offering promotions to compete as more than 90 percent of U.S. adults now have cellphones.
The latest lure from the Dallas-based phone and Internet company is a new unlimited-data deal, unveiled this month, that requires wireless customers to sign up for the company’s TV service too. AT&T acquired satellite TV provider DirecTV last year.
AT&T on Tuesday said its fourth-quarter net income came to $4.01 billion, compared with a $4 billion loss last year when it booked $10 billion in accounting charges.
Earnings summary, graphic from Graphiq Newsdesk:
AT&T Inc. (T) reported earnings of $4.01 billion, or 65 cents a share, up from a loss of $3.98 billion, or 77 cents a share, from the same period a year ago.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned 63 cents a share, missing analysts’ expectations of 64 cents a share by 2%.
Revenue grew from $34.44 billion to $42.12 billion over the same time period.
Analysts surveyed by Zacks expected revenue of $43.06 billion.
Adjusted for one-time items, earnings per share were 63 cents, missing the average estimate of 64 cents from Zacks Investment Research.
Revenue rose 22 percent to $42.1 billion, bolstered by the DirecTV deal. Zacks predicted $43.06 billion.
The company said it added 526,000 postpaid, or core, customers, compared with 854,000 in the fourth quarter of 2014. It said “churn,” or the customer turnover rate, was down.
AT&T said half a million customers signed up for its new unlimited-data deal. Existing customers were eligible for it, so those aren’t necessarily new customers for the company.
The company says it is going to roll out more video-and-wireless offers.
What AT&T’s CEO had to say:
“We now have a unique set of capabilities that positions us for growth and also gives us a strategic advantage in providing consumers and businesses the integrated mobile, video and data solutions they want,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman and CEO, ina statement.
“Our DIRECTV integration is going well, and the customer response to our new integrated mobile and entertainment offers is strong. Throughout this year, we plan to launch a variety of new video entertainment packages that give customers even more choices.
“We’re also seeing terrific results from our expansion into the Mexican mobile market. Our LTE network now covers 355 million people and businesses, and in the quarter we had 2.8 million wireless net additions.”
AT&T shares slipped 2 percent to $34.68 in after-hours trading. The stock has gained 6.7 percent over the past 12 months.
For the year, the company reported profit of $13.35 billion, or $2.37 per share. Revenue was reported as $146.8 billion.
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