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CWA Slams AT&T as Company Reports Profit Bump

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AT&T reported higher profit and a dip in revenue for the second quarter of this year compared to the same quarter in 2017.

Second-quarter profit was $5.1 billion compared to $3.9 billion for the year-ago quarter. Consolidated revenue totaled $39 billion compared to $39.8 billion. Declines in domestic video and legacy wireline services were offset by adding about $1.1 billion from Time Warner.

AT&T beat second-quarter earnings expectations.

The company’s consolidated results include 16 days of Time Warner’s second-quarter results. AT&T completed its acquisition of the entertainment giant last month. The Justice Department now is appealing the merger approval.

AT&T's Randall Stephenson

AT&T’s Randall Stephenson

“It was an exciting quarter for AT&T as we completed the acquisition of Time Warner on June 14 and created a modern media company built around premium content, 170 million direct-to-customer relationships, advertising technology and high-speed networks,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chairman and CEO. “Time Warner joins us coming off an impressive second quarter. Since we closed the Time Warner deal, we’ve also announced an agreement to acquire ad-tech leader AppNexus, which will be an important step to strengthen our leadership in advanced TV advertising. Our goal is to reshape the way media and entertainment work for consumers, and you will see us continue to do exactly that.”

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) said the telco’s latest earnings “reveal how little the tax break that America’s largest telecom company received is doing for workers and consumers.” More than 1,000 AT&T workers in the Midwest and some Legacy T locations were on member-initiated strikes last month as negotiations continue for 14,000 workers covered by Midwest and Legacy T contracts.

“The earnings report just confirms what my coworkers and I here in Wisconsin see every day,” said Betsy LaFontaine, CWA Local 4621 vice president. “AT&T is cutting jobs and sending the work to low-wage contractors. It’s time for AT&T executives to make good on their promises to working people to invest in our jobs and our communities. That’s what our fight is about — job security and ending offshoring and outsourcing.”

For the second quarter, AT&T’s wireless revenue was $17.3 billion, down 1 percent year over year due to a decrease in service revenues. Wireless service revenue of $13.7 billion was down 5.5 percent year over year, but was up .2 percent sequentially.

The telco reported more than 3.8 million wireless net adds, including 3.1 million in the United States and 756,000 in Mexico.

Second-quarter revenue from business customers was $9.1 billion, down 6.2 percent due to declines in legacy wireline services, which were partially offset by increases in strategic business services and wireless.

Business wireless revenue was $2.4 billion, up 2.1 percent, due to higher equipment revenues. Wireless service revenue was down 8.7 percent year over year.

Total business wireline revenue was $6.7 billion, down almost 9 percent year over year.

Revenue from strategic business services, including VPNs, Ethernet, cloud, hosting, IP conferencing, voice over IP, MIS over Ethernet, U-verse and security services, grew by $83 million, or 3 percent, versus the year-earlier quarter. These services represent an annualized revenue stream of more than $12 billion.

During the quarter, AT&T lost 4,000 high-speed IP broadband business subscribers. Total business broadband had a loss of  26,000 subscribers in the quarter.

The telco ended the quarter with about 58 million business wireless subscribers. Business Solutions added 122,000 postpaid subscribers and a record 3 million connected devices in the second quarter.


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