- AT&T on Wednesday posted a surprise gain in first quarter net wireless subscribers who pay a monthly bill.
- The company has rolled out a series of price-cut promotions for smartphones.
AT&T missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue on Wednesday, hit by lower-than-expected sales in its WarnerMedia unit and a shortfall in income from a wireless business where it has cut prices to draw in customers.
AT&T has reduced its dependency on the phone business by buying media content through its acquisition of Time Warner, yet faces a daunting struggle to find growth as declines in one business offset growth in another.
WarnerMedia, which includes Turner and premium TV channel HBO, reported revenue of $8.38 billion in the quarter, falling short of analysts' estimates of $8.45 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
The second-largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers added a net 80,000 phone subscribers, surprising on analysts' forecast of a loss of 44,000 subscribers as its cut the price of plans to combat strong competition in the saturated U.S. market.
However, that meant Mobility, AT&T's largest segment which includes its wireless business, had revenue of $17.57 billion during the quarter, missing estimates of $17.65 billion.
DirecTV Now, AT&T's streaming service, lost 83,000 subscribers, more than analysts' expectation of 82,000 losses.
Net income attributable to AT&T fell to $4.1 billion, or 56 cents per share, from $4.66 billion, or 75 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 86 cents per share, in line with estimates.
Total revenue rose nearly 18 percent to $44.83 billion but fell short of expectations of $45.11 billion.