AT&T talks up wireless, TV subscribers

AT&T said Tuesday that it added 2 million wireless subscribers and more than doubled its U-verse TV customer base in a quarter.The telecom giant reported third quarter adjusted earnings of $4.

AT&T said Tuesday that it added 2 million wireless subscribers and more than doubled its U-verse TV customer base in a quarter.

The telecom giant reported third quarter adjusted earnings of $4.3 billion, or 71 cents a share, on revenue of $30.1 billion. Including charges, AT&T reported third quarter earnings of 50 cents a share. The results, which were beefed up by AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth, were in line with Wall Street estimates. To wit: AT&T reported revenue of $15.6 billion in the third quarter a year ago.

The company in its statement also said its merger integration plans are on track. So far in 2007, AT&T has saved $2.8 billion from the BellSouth merger. It expects to save $3 billion in 2007 with savings of $5 billion in 2008 and $6 billion in 2009.

While the grand total is what Wall Street watches, AT&T's business breakdown is more interesting. By the numbers:

  • AT&T ended the third quarter with 65.7 million wireless subscribers. In the quarter it had a net gain of 2 million wireless subscribers, a tally that was AT&T's best quarterly gain. Wireless churn was 1.7 percent, down 10 basis points from a year ago. However, third quarter churn was up "slightly" due to "seasonality" from the second quarter. Total wireless revenue was $10.9 billion. Of that sum, $9.9 billion was related to services. The remainder, which would include iPhone revenue, was handsets and accessory sales. Apple on Monday said it shipped 1,119,000 iPhones in the September quarter.
  • At the end of the third quarter, AT&T had 126,000 U-verse TV subscribers. This service is an Internet Protocol-based service similar to Verizon's FiOS. At the end of the second quarter, AT&T had 51,000 U-verse TV subscribers. The company said weekly installations approach 10,000 a week.
  • AT&T's high speed Internet connections--DSL, U-verse and satellite broadband service--totaled 13.8 million at the end of the quarter, up 18.6 percent from a year ago.

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