AT&T Profit Beats Estimates as Revenue Base Grows

Communications company AT&T reported quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street analysts' expectations on Wednesday on strong revenue from its wireless operations.

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The company said it earned 63 cents a share, compared to expectations of 60 cents, though revenue was about flat at $31.5 billion, which met analyst estimates.

After the earnings announcement, AT&T's shares rose nearly 0.7 percent in pre-market trading. (Click here to get the latest quotes for AT&T.)

The company reported record cash from operations of $11.5 billion and free cash flow of $6.5 billion.

Wireless revenues rose 6.6 percent while wireless service revenues gained 4.5 percent.

Subscriber base including television and Internet rose to 7.4 million, representing a gain of 200,000 in TV and 613,000 in high-speed Internet.

"We had another impressive quarter with strong earnings growth, record cash flows and solid returns to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks," Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

On the downside, the flow of customers into AT&T's wireless stores slowed further in the latest quarter, putting the company far behind rival Verizon Wireless.

AT&T said it added a net 151,000 new customers on contract-based plans from July through September, the lowest number for that period since at least 2003.

The Dallas-based company is blaming short supplies of the iPhone 5, but that didn't hold back Verizon, which last week reported adding 10 times as many contract-signing customers.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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