AT&T reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings, added 823,000 net wireless connections and added 2.7 million HBO Max and HBO subscribers in the US.
The telecom and media giant's top line results topped estimates. The company reported first quarter earnings of $7.5 billion, or $1.04 a share, on revenue of $43.9 billion, up 2.7% from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were 86 cents a share.
Wall Street was looking for AT&T revenue of $42.7 billion and non-GAAP earnings of 78 cents a share.
AT&T's results come a day after Verizon reported declines in net wireless postpaid subscribers, but also beat expectations.
As for the outlook, AT&T projected revenue growth of about 1% in 2021 with non-GAAP earnings on par with 2020. AT&T is facing a battleground for 5G consumer lines as T-Mobile takes share. The first quarter featured heavy promotions for the Samsung Galaxy S21 launch.
By the numbers:
- AT&T added 595,000 net postpaid phone additions and 823,000 postpaid net adds overall.
- The company added 207,000 prepaid phone net adds.
- AT&T lost 22,000 postpaid tablet and other branded computing device connections.
- AT&T saw a surge in equipment revenue due to phone launches as well as store reopenings.
- AT&T mobility revenue in the first quarter was $19 billion, up 9.4%. Equipment revenue surged 45.2% from a year ago to $5 billion. A year ago, AT&T had to close stores due to COVID-19.
- The company added 235,000 AT&T Fiber customers.
- HBO subscribers globally were 64 million at the end of the quarter with 44.2 million in the US.
- HBO and HBO Max average revenue per unit was $11.72.
- Business wireline revenue was down 3.5% from a year ago to $6 billion in the first quarter.
- Consumer wireline revenue was $3.1 billion, roughly flat with a year ago.