AT&T’s net additions in postpaid component
AT&T’s (T) net postpaid additions are expected to continue to contract YoY (year-over-year) during the quarter. According to the consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts, the company’s postpaid net additions are projected to be ~0.3 million in 1Q16 as compared to ~0.44 million in 1Q15.
On a YoY basis, the telecom company’s net postpaid additions declined significantly in 4Q15. AT&T had postpaid net additions of ~0.53 million in 4Q15 as compared to ~0.85 million during 4Q14.
In its postpaid component, the telecom player continued to lose phone customers and gain connections in its tablet and computing device category in 4Q15. On a net basis, the telecom player lost ~0.26 million postpaid phone connections during the quarter.
Postpaid additions of other players among the top four in the US
Given its 4Q15 figures, in terms of the wireless postpaid base, AT&T is the second-largest player in the US. It follows Verizon (VZ), and as of the end of the same quarter, the third- and fourth-biggest players in this wireless customer metric are T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S).
In 4Q15, among the top four US wireless players, the postpaid net additions of Verizon and T-Mobile were solid at ~1.5 million and ~1.3 million, respectively. Meanwhile, this metric for Sprint (S) was at ~0.5 million during the same period.
For diversified exposure to telecom players in the US, you might consider investing in the iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD). IWD held a total of ~2.7% in AT&T, Verizon, Level 3 Communications (LVLT), CenturyLink (CTL), and T-Mobile at the end of March 2016.
Now let’s take a look at AT&T’s postpaid retention expectations for 1Q16.