AT&T Profit Down, But Subscriber Numbers Up Nicely in Q2

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AT&T reported a 2.1 percent profit drop in the second quarter, but the number of new wireless subscribers who signed up for long-term contracts jumped significantly.

The Dallas-based communications giant’s profit from April through June was $3.82 billion, down from $3.9 billion in the same quarter last year. Revenue was up from $31.6 to $32.1 billion compared to the same period a year ago. Analysts were expecting a slightly higher number, the Wall Street Journal said.

AT&T added 541,000 wireless subs on contract last quarter that was nearly double the amount it added in the first quarter (296,000) and many more than in Q2 2012 (320,000). The carrier, however, which recently announced it’s buying prepaid operator Leap Wireless and its Cricket Communications brand, is still looking up at rival Verizon Wireless, which announced last week that it added 941,000 on-contract subscribers over the last three months. Churn was up from 0.97 percent a year ago to 1.02 percent in quarter two.

The wireline side of the business continued a slow, steady decline, down 0.9 percent year-over year, while total wireless revenue was up 5.7 percent (including equipment sales). AT&T now has 9.4 million subscribers for its U-verse TV and high-speed Internet services. The company added 641,000 subscribers for Internet and 233,000 for TV last quarter.

This was a solid quarter for revenue and customer additions across our key growth platforms,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. Our 4G LTE … deployment is ahead of schedule. That contributed to a step-up in postpaid subscriber gains, and strong mobile data revenue growth of nearly 20 percent. Growth in U-verse and strategic business services also continued to be strong adding to our momentum.”

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