Will AT&T Achieve Expected Wireless Services Growth?


Aug. 8 2019, Published 7:41 a.m. ET

AT&T’s (T) total revenues increased 15.3% YoY (year-over-year) and reached $45.0 billion in the second quarter. The company’s combined domestic wireless operations’ (or AT&T Mobility) revenues rose 1.3% YoY to $17.5 billion.

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AT&T’s wireless service revenues

Now, we’ll look at the two significant segments in AT&T’s combined domestic wireless operations revenues. The smaller part is the company’s wireless equipment revenues, while the larger part is its wireless service revenues.

In the second quarter, AT&T’s combined domestic wireless operations service revenues rose 2.4% YoY to $14.0 billion due to customer gains. In the first six months of 2019, AT&T’s combined domestic wireless operations service revenues rose 2.6% YoY to $27.8 billion.

AT&T at a conference

During the 22nd Annual Oppenheimer Technology, Internet & Communications Conference in Boston on Tuesday, John Stephens, AT&T’s CFO, spoke about the growth in the company’s wireless service revenues. He stated that the company is on track to achieve YoY total wireless service revenue growth for fiscal 2019.

The drivers for future wireless growth include “postpaid smartphone growth; customer upgrades to unlimited plans; growth in AT&T’s Cricket wireless unit; reduced pressure from reseller; and leadership in 5G.”

In the second quarter, T-Mobile’s (TMUS) wireless service revenues rose 6.2% YoY to $8.4 billion due to 8.7% growth in its postpaid revenues. Sprint’s (S) wireless service revenues fell 2.5% YoY to $5.3 billion in the second quarter.

Wireless customer growth

In the second quarter, AT&T added 3.9 million net wireless customers in the US compared to net additions of 3.1 million in the second quarter of 2018. The company’s wireless subscriber additions were driven by strong postpaid phone subscriber gains, continued prepaid phone growth, improvements in connected devices, and smartphone customer net additions.

AT&T added 72,000 postpaid phone net customers in the second quarter, which beat analysts’ estimate of 27,000 postpaid phone net additions and its 51,000 postpaid phone net additions in the second quarter of 2018. AT&T’s prepaid customer net additions totaled 341,000. The company gained 144,000 postpaid smartphone net customers, while it added 388,000 total smartphone net customers in the second quarter.

In the June quarter, Sprint lost net 128,000 postpaid phone customers, while T-Mobile gained 710,000 postpaid phone customers.

On Wednesday, AT&T stock rose 0.29% and closed at $34.06, while Sprint stock rose 0.30% to $6.73. In contrast, T-Mobile stock fell 1.04% to $76.48.


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