AT&T shares up almost 3 percent after earnings beat

AT&T shares up almost 3 percent after earnings beat

AT&T shares up almost 3 percent after earnings beat

AT&T, which is trying to get regulatory approval to purchase Time Warner for $85.4 billion, said Tuesday it surpassed the expectations of analysts with its second-quarter earnings. The same period from a year ago had $0.72 in EPS and $40.52 billion in revenue. AT&T says that gains in DirecTV video revenues and in the company's broadband sales offset "TV content-cost pressure, declines in legacy services and start-up costs for DirecTV Now".

Excluding some items, earnings per share were 79 cents, ahead of analysts' average estimate of 73 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The shares ended the regular session down less than 0.1%. Analysts had expected the company to report revenue of $39.8 billion and earnings of 74 cents a share.

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AT&T highlighted its 2.8 million wireless net adds, which included 2.3 million from the U.S. driven by prepaid and postpaid connected devices.

The company's churn level was its best ever in the post-paid phone division, it said, at 0.79%.

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AT&T added 152,000 DirecTV Now subscribers in Q2, but that was not almost enough to offset losses from DirecTV's satellite TV business or AT&T's managed IPTV service, U-verse TV. "And in a quarter where our competitors used promotions aggressively, we added more than 500,000 branded smartphones to our base and more than 100,000 IP broadband subscribers, achieved record EBITDA wireless margins and had the lowest postpaid phone churn in our history".

AT&T said it lost 351,000 "traditional" video subs in Q2 due to "seasonality and elevated competition", shedding 156,000 DirecTV satellite subs and 195,000 IPTV customers in the period. "We continue to expect the Time Warner (TWX) deal to close by year-end and further transform the company". The stock, however, gained $0.93 or 2.57 percent in the after-hours trading.

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