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AT&T misses quarterly revenue estimates

Key Points
  • 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.
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, speaking at the Business Roundtable CEO Innovation Summit in Washington, DC. on Dec. 6th, 2018.  
Janhvi Bhojwani | CNBC

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.

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Key Points
  • EBay on Tuesday reported earnings that topped analysts' expectations.
  • EBay reported first-quarter earnings of $518 million.
  • EBay expects full-year earnings in the range of $2.64 to $2.70 per share, with revenue ranging from $10.83 billion to $10.93 billion.