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AT&T misses phone subscriber estimates amid stiff competition

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Reuters
(Reuters) - AT&T Inc on Wednesday missed Wall Street estimates for net new wireless subscribers who pay a monthly bill, as the company struggled to attract customers in a saturated U.S. phone market.
The second-largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers faces competition from companies such as T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp, who offer lower-priced phone plans.
AT&T gained a net 134,000 phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill, smaller than analysts' estimates of 208,000 subscribers, according to research firm FactSet.
The new WarnerMedia segment, which includes Turner and premium TV channel HBO, reported revenue of $9.23 billion during the quarter, beating estimates of $9.05 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
AT&T also lost 403,000 satellite television subscribers, versus 147,000 in the prior-year quarter, as viewers continue to cut pricey TV packages in favor of cheaper streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu. Analysts had expected AT&T to shed 328,000 satellite subscribers, according to FactSet.
Net income attributable to AT&T fell to $4.86 billion, 66 cents per share, from $19.04 billion, or $3.08 per share, a year earlier, when the company benefited from tax cuts.
Excluding items, the company earned 86 cents per share, in line with estimates.
Total revenue rose 15.2 percent to $47.99 billion, missing analysts' estimates of $48.5 billion.
(Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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First Published: Jan 30 2019 | 5:42 PM IST

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