AT&T quarterly revenue misses Wall Street estimates

NEW YORK: AT&T Inc, the new owner of cable channels HBO and TNT, reported quarterly revenue that fell shy of Wall Street estimates but added more wireless subscribers than expected. AT&T bought the entertainment conglomerate to attract consumers and advertisers to its mobile products and compete with Internet firms like Netflix Inc, Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google. Total operating revenue fell about 2 per cent to $38.99 billion, missing analysts’ average estimate of $39.39 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The second-quarter revenue included the impact of an accounting change, said AT&T, the second-largest US wireless carrier by subscribers.
AT&T’s service revenue, which includes all operating revenue except equipment and media revenue, declined 7.6 per cent from the prior-year quarter.
“None of their businesses are performing well,” said Jonathan Chaplin, analyst at New Street Research. “Apart from the one that they only owned for 16 days, the only one that isn’t shrinking is wireless. And wireless isn’t growing, it just isn’t shrinking anymore. Less bad isn’t the same as good.”
After a six-week trial, AT&T won court approval last month to close its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner and began bundling the content it gained from the deal with new wireless plans to drive subscriber growth. A federal appeals court last week approved the US Justice Department’s request for an expedited schedule to appeal the ruling on antitrust concerns. — Reuters