AT & T (T) on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings, which met expectations, but revenues and the number of subscribers of wireless postpaid phones did not correspond to analysts' estimates. AT & T shares fell in morning trading.
The telecommunications giant said that adjusted fourth-quarter earnings were 86 cents per share, up 10% from a year ago, while revenue grew 15% to $ 48 billion. AT & T's results included Time Warner, acquired in mid-June.
A year earlier, AT & T earned 78 cents per share on sales of $ 41.70 billion. Analysts had expected AT & T to report a profit of 86 cents on sales of $ 48.53 billion for the period ending December 31.
AT & T said it had added 134,000 wireless postpaid phone subscribers, which is significantly less than analysts' opinion of 208,000. The company said its DirecTV satellite television business lost 403,000 subscribers, more than 298,000 analysts had predicted. AT & T also lost 267,000 online video subscribers as it reduced marketing promotions.
In 2019, AT & T said it expects a free cash flow in the range of $ 26 billion and a small adjusted earnings per share growth, which is in line with analysts' estimates.
“The results were mixed, with strong progress on margin, offset by weaker subscriber trends in all segments,” said Jonathan Chaplin, an analyst at New Street Research. “The most important indicator for AT & T this year may be compliance with free cash flow of $ 26 billion. The US, and the increase in margins we saw this quarter, will help them achieve this.
AT & T shares fell 5.3% to 29.09 amid recent stock market shares today.
Editor's Note: In an earlier version of this story, the number of subscribers lost to AT & T DirecTV's satellite TV business was underestimated.
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