AT&T beats Q4 earnings expectations

Shares rose more than 3 percent after hours.

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Matt Rourke, AP (File photo)

AT&T on Wednesday reported its fourth quarter financial results that beat market expectations.

The company reported adjusted earnings of 78 cents per share on revenue of $41.68 billion. A year prior, the company reported 66 cents per share on revenue of $41.8 billion.

Wall Street was expecting earnings of 75 cents per share on revenue of $40.1 billion.

Operating expenses for the quarter were $41.3 billion, compared with $37.6 billion a year prior.

For its full year, AT&T reported adjusted earnings of $3.05 per share on revenue of $160.5 billion. A year prior, the company reported $2.84 per share on revenue of $163.8 billion. AT&T said the full year revenue showed a slight decline due to declines in legacy wireline and wireless services revenues.

"The impact of tax reform and regulatory rationalization will be substantial and positive for the U.S. economy and AT&T," Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "Our FirstNet win and the opt-in by 100 percent of all states and territories will enable us to put the industry's most robust spectrum assets to work in building a best-in-class nationwide network for public safety and first responders. On the Time Warner front, we look forward to presenting our case in court and closing the deal."

AT&T said it added 4.1 million wireless customers in the fourth quarter, with 2.7 million from the US and nearly 1.3 million from Mexico. AT&T's wireless cancellation rate was 0.89 percent, its best ever in the fourth quarter.

For fiscal 2018, AT&T expects adjusted EPS in the $3.50 range and free cash flow of about $21 billion.

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