Published: Wed, April 26, 2017
Business | By Pat Ferguson

AT&T Profit, Revenue Fall Due to Low Wireless Equipment Sales

AT&T Profit, Revenue Fall Due to Low Wireless Equipment Sales

AT&T Inc's T.N quarterly revenue missed estimates due to lower equipment sales as customers held onto phones longer and rival wireless carriers offered new promotions on unlimited data plans, the No. 2 USA wireless carrier said on Tuesday. It declined to say how many people subscribed to DirecTV Now, though company executives said they weren't giving up on the online TV service and plan to advertise it more heavily later this year.

Among individual areas of the company, AT&T pulled in $9.02 billion in video entertainment revenues, up 1.3%, and high-speed Internet revenues of $1.94 billion, up 7.7%.

AT&T said it ended the period with 4.6 million AT&T Fiber "customer locations" and plans to add 2 million to that total in 2017. The company also said that customers are holding on to their phones longer, pressuring equipment sales.

Stephenson also answered a question about AT&T's DirecTV satellite business, which has been bleeding subscribers along with other traditional pay-TV services as cord-cutting gains in popularity.

AT&T a premier telecom company.

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AT&T did add 282,000 prepaid customers, who pay less.

In all for the March quarter, AT&T's earned $3.5 billion, or 56 cents a share, down from $3.8 billion, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier. Wall Street was looking for 74 cents a share on revenues of $40.6 billion. In the same period from a year ago, AT&T reported $0.72 in EPS and $40.53 in revenue.

Revenues of $39.37 billion were off almost 3% year-over-year, and failed to reach the Street's consensus mark of $40.53 billion.

AT&T is fighting to both keep and add customers and increase revenue amid a price war with smaller rivals T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp.

AT&T on Tuesday updated its guidance for 2017, saying that it expects adjusted EPS growth in the mid-single digit range. AT&T reported its best ever first-quarter postpaid phone churn of 0.9 percent and wireless postpaid churn of 1.12 percent. AT&T says that because it can not predict handset sales in advance, it no longer will forecast revenue for future quarters.

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