AT&T reported strong fourth quarter and year-end earnings as it added 884,000 postpaid phone net additions for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2021 (3.2 million for the full year) and reported total global HBO Max and HBO subscribers of 73.8 million, up 13.1 million year-over-year.
The wireless giant reported non-GAAP fourth quarter earnings of 78 cents a share (69 cents a share GAAP) on revenue of $41 billion, beating Wall Street's estimate of 76 cents a share on revenue of $40.4 billion. For the full year, AT&T's non-GAAP earnings were $3.40 a share ($2.76 a share GAAP), on revenue of $168.9 billion.
According to its press release, for 2021, AT&T said it led the industry in postpaid phone net adds, gaining more subscribers than in the prior 10 years combined; added more than a million fiber subscribers — the fourth year in a row in which it added at least 1 million subscribers; and exceeded the high end of its guidance for global HBO Max and HBO subscribers.
"We ended 2021 the way we started it – by growing our customer relationships, running our operations more effectively and efficiently, and sharpening our focus," said CEO John Stankey. "Our momentum is strong and we're confident there is more opportunity to continue to grow our customer base and drive costs from the business," he added.
The company said that it intends to host a virtual analyst meeting in the first half of March when it expects to report additional financial and operating performance of its Communications unit following the close of its pending WarnerMedia transaction, which is now expected to close in the second quarter.