AT&T shares are up about 2% in post market trading as investors sort through its Q3 numbers and try to figure out what they mean for the company’s prospects in phone and media.
It generated $3.08 billion in net income, down 3.4% vs the period last year, on revenues of $39.09 billion, up 18.6%. The revenue number fell slightly short of the consensus forecast of $40.42 billion.
But if you take out one-time expenses, including those tied to the DirecTV acquisition, then earnings came in at 74 cents a share — ahead of the 69 cents Wall Street anticipated.
AT&T also raised its adjusted EPS forecast for the full year to as much as $2.74 (up from $2.68), with free cash flow of $15 billion “or better” (up from $13 billion “or better”).
“We now have integrated solutions that are unlike any competitor in the market,” CEO Randall Stephenson says. “With national wireless and video capabilities, as well as our extensive broadband network, we now have assets that make us a unique competitor and the first scaled, fully-integrated U.S. service provider.”
The Entertainment and Internet Services unit, which includes DirecTV, saw revenues increase 316.6% to $7.16 billion with operating income of $1.02 billion, up from a $337 million loss.
DirecTV added 26,000 customers, for a total of 19.57 million. AT&T says that the No. 1 satellite company used to include commercial subscribers in a way that “converted commercial accounts to an equivalent number of residential subscribers.” It now considers each commercial account as one customer, which reduced DirecTV’s subscriber number by 918,600.
AT&T says that the rate of DirecTV sign-ups increased after the deal closed.
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But the U-verse service lost 92,000 video customers, for a total of 5.85 million. The company said that it reduced the number of promotions, and focused more on DirecTV where content costs per subscriber are lower.
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