AT&T Returns to 4th-Quarter Profits As Revenues Edge Upwards

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USA based AT&T has reported its financial results and turned a loss into a profit after the company cut its operating expenses.

AT&T's revenues for the three months to the end of December were up by 1.8 percent at USD33.2 billion, while the net profit came in at USD6.9 billion, compared to a loss of USD3.9 billion a year ago.

Operating expenses nearly halved to USD20.9 billion versus $38.5 billion a year ago.

Total wireless revenues, which include equipment sales, were up 4.5 percent year over year to $18.4 billion. Wireless data revenues increased 16.8 percent from the year-earlier quarter to $5.7 billion. Fourth-quarter wireless operating expenses totaled $14.5 billion, down 3.9 percent versus the year-earlier quarter, and wireless operating profits were $3.9 billion, up 53.8 percent year over year.

AT&T posted a net increase in total wireless subscribers of 809,000 in the fourth quarter, although it had to sell 1.2 million smartphones to achieve that.

At the end of the quarter, 77 percent, or 51.9 million, of AT&T's postpaid phone subscribers had smartphones.

In its landline operations, fourth-quarter revenues were down by 1.4 percent to $14.7 billion, while operating profit fell by 18.8 percent to USD1.5 billion.

For this year, AT&T expects continued consolidated revenue growth in the 2 to 3 percent range, including strength in wireless service and wireline consumer revenues.

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