Big iPhone Sales Spur AT&T’s Q4 Revenue Growth

AT&T‘s fourth-quarter revenue and subscriber numbers beat analysts’ expectations, but the phone giant fell just short in terms of profit.

The iPhone 5 was a big reason for its revenue increase, rising from $32.5 billion in the year-ago quarter to $32.58 billion in Q4 2012. Earlier this month, AT&T announced a new quarterly record for smartphone sales, many of which were Apple’s iconic device (8.6 million); however, big smartphone sales can eat into profits because AT&T and other wireless carriers have to subsidize them to make them affordable. That being said, the company’s earnings barely fell short of Wall Street’s predictions, CNBC said.

AT&T reported 780,000 subscriber additions last quarter; the average industry prediction was about 700,000. That pales, however, in comparison to Verizon Wireless’ 2.1 million adds.

Like rival Verizon, the carrier took significant losses due to larger-than-expected pension obligations and damage from Hurricane Sandy. But for the most part, AT&T’s numbers were pretty decent.

AT&T’s shares made no dramatic move after the closing bell, unlike Apple, which failed to meet lofty expectations Wednesday and saw its stock plummet more than 10 percent.

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