AT&T Inc. beat analysts expectations with its third-quarter earnings as its net profits rose to 63 cents per share, compared to 47 cents a year earlier.
The companys net income was $2.2 billion, up 73.8 percent versus $1.2 billion in the third quarter of 2005. Earnings totaled $2.4 billion, up 58.2 percent, compared to the year-ago quarter of $1.5 billion.
Reuters Estimates polled analysts who, Reuters reported, predicted earnings of 58 cents a share.
The numbers excluded costs related to mergers and other items and were pushed up by growth in the wireless and business-services wireline divisions.
“We had a great third quarter,” said Edward E. Whitacre Jr., AT&T chairman and CEO, in a news release. “Wireless delivered impressive margin expansion along with strong subscriber and revenue growth. Enterprise demand and revenue trends continue to be promising. And our regional wireline operations extended their record of revenue growth in both consumer and business.
AT&T is still waiting for approval on its pending $80 billion merger with BellSouth Corp.
AT&T Inc. www.att.com