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AT&T Q2 revenue beats expectations, but TV woes continue

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor

AT&T (T) announced its Q2 earnings Tuesday that topped analysts' estimates on revenue and met profit expectations, as a boost in paid wireless subscribers partly offset continuing losses in its premium television unit.

The company reported $44.9 billion in revenue versus consensus expectations of $44.7 billion. AT&T saw $39 billion in the same quarter last year.

Earnings per share came in at an adjusted 89 cents per share, in-line with analysts’ estimates. That was down from 91 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

The stock, which closed at $32.09 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, ticked lower in pre-market hours.

AT&T's biggest issue is the continued loss of subscribers for its television offerings, as consumers continue to pull the plug on high-priced TV plans in favor of streaming options.

During Q2, the company bled 778,000 subscribers for its premium TV offerings, including DirecTV and AT&T U-verse. That's far more than the 627,000 subscribers the company lost in Q1.

The losses are a result of promotional discounts lapsing, and consumers ditching AT&T's services for competing offerings. That spells trouble for the company as it gears up to launch its HBO Max streaming service in 2020.

However, AT&T's post-paid cellular subscribers increased by 72,000. The company's 5G wireless efforts will be a major part of its overall strategy moving forward.

The industry is still in the earliest stages of its 5G rollout, and the carrier that is able to get its network up and running the fastest with the least amount of issues for consumers, could end up the new market leader.

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Email Daniel Howley at dhowley@yahoofinance.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

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