AT&T shares fall after company reports quarterly earnings that miss analysts' estimates

Key Points
  • AT&T reported first-quarter earnings after the bell on Wednesday.
  • The company is in the middle of a trial that will determine the fate of its $85 billion bid for Time Warner.
AT&T drops on revenue miss

AT&T reported first-quarter results that missed estimates, sending its shares down nearly 4 percent in extended trading on Wednesday, as the biggest pay-TV provider in the U.S. lost subscribers to its satellite and U-verse services.

Here are the results:

— Earnings: 85 cents per share, vs 87 cents per share expected

— Revenue: $38.04 billion, vs $39.31 billion expected

— Linear video subscribers were down 187,000 in the quarter, while AT&T added 312,000 subscribers to its streaming service DirecTV Now.

—Postpaid wireless additions were 49,000 in the U.S.

AT&T, the owner of satellite provider DirecTV, has been losing subscribers to its traditional television packages as more consumers cut the cord and opt for cheaper streaming services. In wireless, both AT&T and Verizon have been losing share of postpaid subscribers, or customers who pay a monthly bill, to smaller, cheaper rival T-Mobile.

AT&T is currently in the middle of a trial over its $85 billion bid for media company Time Warner.

AT&T executives have said buying Time Warner, the owner of cable channels like HBO and CNN, is a way for the company to diversify its revenues and give AT&T a competitive edge in the wireless market through ownership of content.

But in November, the U.S. Department of Justice sued to block the deal, arguing that it was anticompetitive. Last week, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson took the stand to defend the acquisition.

On the company's post-earnings conference call, CFO John Stephens said that AT&T stands ready to close the deal based on the court's determination.

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