April 18, 2024

AT&T’s Quarter Matches Expectations

ATT, the nation’s largest telecommunications company, reported a 39 percent increase in first-quarter profit on Wednesday, despite the loss of exclusive rights to the iPhone, which it was forced to give up in February.

The company, based in Dallas, reported that net income for the quarter rose to $3.4 billion, or 57 cents a share, compared with $2.5 billion, or 41 cents a share, in the period a year ago. Revenue climbed more than 2 percent to $31.2 billion, meeting Wall Street’s expectations, which expected $31.26 billion on 57 cents a share.

The jump was the result of an increase in wireless data, the company said.

“We had another strong quarter and a solid year,” the chief executive and chairman of ATT, Randall L. Stephenson, said in a statement. “Our major growth platforms — mobile broadband, U-verse and strategic business services — continue to set the pace for the industry, and we’re still early in the growth cycle for all of these areas.”

ATT added 2 million wireless subscribers in the quarter, a slight increase from the 1.9 million that it added in the first quarter a year ago. ATT’s overall pool of subscribers rose to 97.5 million, 12 percent larger than the total a year ago.

Wall Street seemed to respond favorably, with shares rising slightly in premarket trading.

Analysts were uncertain how the loss of iPhone exclusivity in the quarter would affect ATT.

For the last several years, ATT has reaped the benefits of being the sole carrier for the iPhone in the United States. The exclusive partnership has helped build and retain the ATT subscriber pool, as millions of subscribers flocked to ATT.

But beginning in February, ATT’s chief rival, Verizon, began selling the iPhone 4 in the United States.

However, ATT reported 3.6 million iPhone activations for the first three months, a million more than in the period a year ago. Nearly a quarter of the subscribers were new to ATT.

Mr. Stephenson cited other areas, such as wireless data and mobile services, as helping bolster the results. The company said the revenue generated by the areas grew more than 9 percent and now make up 74 percent of its total revenue.

“2011 is the year when we’ll take mobile broadband to the next level,” Mr. Stephenson said.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=55f666477e97620e408d3a07d657d58b

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