AT&T Q3 Adj. Profit Tops View, Lifts FY23 Forecast; Stock Up In Premarket

Telecom giant AT&T, Inc. reported Thursday weak profit in its third quarter, despite a slight growth in revenues with solid 5G and fiber subscriber growth. Adjusted earnings and topline beat market estimates, and the company raised its fiscal 2023 guidance for adjusted EBITDA, a key earnings metric. In pre-market activity on the NYSE, AT&T shares were gaining around 4 percent.

John Stankey, AT&T CEO, said, “Our investments in best-in-class 5G and fiber connectivity are fueling our growth engine. We’re gaining profitable customer relationships and becoming more efficient. This is powering our strong business performance and gives us the confidence to raise our full-year free cash flow guidance.”

For fiscal 2023, the company now expects growth in adjusted EBITDA of better than 4 percent, versus prior guidance of 3 percent growth. AT&T now expects full-year free cash flow of about $16.5 billion, higher than prior guidance of $16 billion or better.

The company said its mid-band 5G spectrum now covers more than 190 million people, and is on track to reach 200 million people or more with mid-band 5G by year-end.

AT&T’s consumer fiber network is now capable of serving 20.7 million consumers and about 3.3 million business customer locations, and is on track to pass 30 million plus fiber locations by the end of 2025.

In its third quarter, the company’s net income attributable to common stock fell 42.4 percent to $3.44 billion from last year’s $5.98 billion. Earnings per share were $0.48, down 40 percent from prior year’s $0.80.

Income from continuing operations was $3.83 billion or $0.48 per share, compared to prior year’s $6.35 billion or $0.79 per share.

Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.64, compared to $0.68 in the year-ago quarter.

On average, 18 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.62 per share for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Total operating revenues, however, grew 1 percent to $30.35 billion from last year’s $30.04 billion. The Street was looking for revenues of $30.19 billion for the quarter.

The increase in revenues primarily reflected higher Mobility, Mexico and Consumer Wireline revenues, partly offset by lower Business Wireline revenues.

Communications revenues were $29.2 billion, up 0.4 percent year over year.

Mobility revenues were up 2.0 percent to $20.7 billion due to higher service revenues.

Business Wireline revenues of $5.2 billion fell 7.9 percent due to lower demand for legacy voice and data services and product simplification, partly offset by growth in connectivity services.

Consumer Wireline revenues were $3.3 billion, up 4.6 percent due to gains in broadband more than offsetting declines in legacy voice and data and other services.

Latin America – Mexico revenues climbed 26.4 percent due to growth in both service and equipment revenues.

AT&T Fiber net adds were 296,000 in the quarter. The company surpassed 8 million Fiber subscribers.

In pre-market activity on the NYSE, the shares were trading at $14.82, up 3.5 percent.

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