AT&T's first quarter earnings were in line with expectations as the company added 2.7 million net U.S. wireless customers and solid gain of smartphone additions.
The results come a day after Verizon reported earnings that were better than expected. AT&T is currently digesting its acquisition of Time Warner and paying down a heavy debt load. AT&T said it cut net debt by $2.3 billion in the first quarter to $169 billion with a target of $150 billion by the end of the year.
AT&T reported first quarter earnings of 56 cents a share on revenue of $44.8 billion, up 18 percent from a year ago. Adjusted earnings were 86 cents a share, which matched Wall Street estimates, but revenue was lighter than expected.
For AT&T, the plan is to expand its media plan via Time Warner, branch out into advertising and build its 5G network.
Mobility is growing, but AT&T video losses are hurting the communications unit overall. AT&T said it added 179,000 net postpaid smartphone additions with a phone churn of 0.93 percent. Wireless service revenue was up 2.9 percent in the first quarter.
Consider the following moving wireless parts where AT&T reported:
204,000 postpaid net losses with losses in tablets offsetting gains in wearables and phones.
80,000 postpaid phone net adds.
179,000 postpaid smartphone net adds.
428,000 tablet and other branded computing device net losses.
96,000 prepaid net adds.
85,000 prepaid phone net adds.
63,000 prepaid smartphone net adds.
3.1 million connected device net adds.
253,000 reseller net losses.
Like Verizon, AT&T's wireless connections are bolstered by the addition of wearable devices.
Other key points:
AT&T said its FirstNet deployment is halfway done and 5G is in parts of 19 cities.
The company had 22.4 million premium TV subscribers with 544,000 net losses in the quarter.
AT&T said that it had 1.5 million over-the-top subscribers with 83,000 net losses in the first quarter.
Xandr, AT&T's advertising unit, saw revenue grow 26 percent in the quarter due to the acquisition of AppNexus. AT&T said that it is using data and analytics to optimize Time Warner's Turner unit advertising.
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