AT&T is spending large on capex
AT&T (T) has been investing heavily in capital expenditures (or capex) to acquire additional spectrum for future use as well as enhance its network. AT&T has spent $5.2 billion on capex in 2Q17 as compared to $5.5 billion in 2Q16, as it continues to focus on integrated wireless and wireline business services.
During AT&T’s recent 2Q17 earnings conference call, the management noted that the timing of FirstNet expenditures and reimbursements could cause fiscal 2017 free cash flow (or FCF) to come in at the low end of its guidance of $18.0 billion.
Expected capex investments in 2017
AT&T’s management anticipates spending around $22.0 billion on capex in 2017 as compared to $22.9 billion in 2016. In comparison, Verizon (VZ) expects capital expenditures for the full-year 2017 to come in between $16.8 billion and $17.5 billion, whereas T-Mobile (TMUS) expects cash capex to be in the range of $4.8 billion to $5.1 billion excluding capitalized interest. Meanwhile, Sprint (S) anticipates its cash capex to come in the $3.5 billion to $4.0 billion range, which excludes the impact from leased devices sold through indirect channels in fiscal 2017.