July 22, 2021
(Reuters) – AT&T Inc on Thursday beat analysts’ estimates for monthly phone bill paying subscriber additions in the second quarter, fueled by more Americans converting to 5G phones.
The company, which also raised its full-year revenue and adjusted earnings per share growth forecasts, added 789,000 net new postpaid phone subscribers during the quarter, above FactSet estimates of 278,000.
The wireless carrier had lost 151,000 subscribers in the year-ago quarter at the height of the pandemic.
AT&T has been shelling out billions of dollars to upgrade its networks to the 5G technology, as demand for the faster service surges with people working from home and learning online.
WarnerMedia, the company’s media unit, added 2.8 million U.S. subscribers for its premium channel HBO and streaming platform HBO Max during the quarter.
AT&T raised its forecast for global HBO Max subscribers to between 70 million and 73 million by the end of the year. The company had earlier estimated 67 million to 70 million subscribers for the service.
The company in May said it would spin off and combine its media content with Discovery into a new global entertainment business.
Total revenue at AT&T rose 7.6% to $44 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of $42.67 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
AT&T now expects revenue growth in the 2% to 3% range and adjusted earnings per share to rise in the low- to mid-single digits.
The company had previously expected revenue growth in the 1% range and adjusted earnings per share to be stable with the previous year.
Net income attributable to common stock rose to $1.5 billion, or 21 cents per share, in the second quarter, from $1.2 billion, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier.
(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)