AT&T First-Quarter Profit Down 9.7% - Landline Revenues Decline
Published on: 21st Apr 2009
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
AT&T has reported that it's first quarter revenues has dipped slightly to USD30.57 billion from USD30.74 billion a year ago, while profits declined by 9.7% to USD3.13 billion. The drop in revenues is largely down to the landline division, while wireless continued to show growth.
"These results demonstrate focused and disciplined execution as we work through a tough economy," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer. "Our cost-improvement initiatives are on track, earnings and cash flow were solid, our balance sheet and credit metrics continue to be strong.
"I am particularly pleased with the success of our iPhone 3G initiative, which has driven strong high-end customer growth and delivered financial benefits ahead of our original outlook. Business and consumer expectations for mobility are on the rise, wireless innovation is flourishing and the opportunities ahead are substantial. AT&T is strongly positioned to lead in the next generation of wireless growth."
Compared with results for the year-earlier quarter, AT&T's operating expenses for the first quarter of 2009 were $24.8 billion versus $24.8 billion; operating income was $5.7 billion versus $6.0 billion; and AT&T's operating income margin was 18.8 percent, compared with 19.5 percent.
AT&T's first-quarter wireless growth was highlighted by postpaid subscriber gains that were up significantly from year-earlier levels, continued rapid adoption of integrated devices (handsets with QWERTY or virtual keyboards in addition to voice functionality) and wireless data services, and substantial sequential margin expansion reflecting operational improvements and iPhone benefits. Highlights include the following:
AT&T posted solid organic wireless subscriber gains in the first quarter, driven by a significant step up in retail postpaid net subscriber additions, which were 24.1 percent higher than in the year-earlier quarter. Versus results for the first quarter of 2008, postpaid gross adds totaled 3.0 million, up 9.2 percent; postpaid churn was stable at 1.2 percent; and postpaid net adds totaled 875,000, up from 705,000. This marked AT&T's third consecutive quarter of double-digit year-over-year improvement in postpaid net adds. Total wireless subscribers increased by 1.2 million
Wireless data revenues increased by $884 million, or 38.6 percent, versus the year-earlier first quarter to $3.2 billion. Data represented 27.2 percent of AT&T's first-quarter wireless service revenues, up from 21.5 percent in the year-earlier quarter and 16.0 percent in the first quarter of 2007. Wireless text messages on the AT&T network totaled more than 94 billion in the first quarter, more than double the total for the year-earlier quarter.
In the first quarter, AT&T's iPhone 3G activations totaled more than 1.6 million, more than 40 percent of them for customers who were new to the company. AT&T's U.S. iPhone exclusive continues to deliver subscribers with ARPUs (average monthly revenues per subscriber) that are approximately 1.6 times higher and churn rates that are significantly lower than the company's overall postpaid subscriber base.
The number of 3G devices on AT&T's wireless network also more than doubled over the past year, and at the end of the first quarter, 40.8 percent of AT&T's postpaid wireless subscribers had a 3G device, up from 19.5 percent one year earlier.
Postpaid data ARPU was $16.48 in the first quarter, up $3.48 or 26.8 percent versus the year-earlier period. Total postpaid ARPU increased 2.1 percent versus the year-earlier first quarter to $59.21. This marked the ninth consecutive quarter AT&T has posted a year-over-year increase in postpaid ARPU.