For AT&T, Fewer New Subs Yield Bigger Earnings

April 24th, 2012 by · 1 Comment

Global telecommunications giant AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) turned in its Q1 earnings report this morning, checking in with revenues of $31.8B and diluted earnings per share of $0.60, the former being in line and the latter being three pennies above expectations.

On the wireless front, AT&T saw fewer new post-paid subscribers than usual, and most of the ones they got were tablets and not phones. But the silver lining there is that smartphone subsidies were lower, and hence earnings were higher. That balances the days a year or two ago when AT&T would miss earnings because they sold too many iPhones. Churn and ARPU also improved during the quarter.

On the wireline front, it was U-verse that helped drive things forward while business data revenues did well also. Overall, revenues were down slightly sequentially, as there were the usual legacy voice and data revenue declines.  Nothing much to see here that we haven't seen before.

One thing to notice about AT&T's earnings is what they didn't say. Relevant words largely absent from AT&T's earnings release?  Cloud, wholesale, upgrade, bandwidth, traffic, LTE, and spectrum.  Not that they have to say anything about those in an earnings call, with such a large company it takes so many words to just take care of the finances without getting into the technology the way others often do in detailing their successes & future plans.  It's just interesting to note what gets focused on and what doesn't sometimes.

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Categories: Financials · ILECs, PTTs

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1 Comment, Add Yours!


  • Tod says:

    I totally agree.

    Still though, if you are looking for very long term total return, with Ts market share and the dividends they pay, it’s hard to go wrong with T as a very long term investment

    Thanks for the article.

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