U.S. Markets closed

AT&T Ends 2012 on a Mixed Note

Zacks Equity Research

Leading communications firm AT&T Inc (T) reported fourth-quarter 2012 adjusted earnings per share of 44 cents that missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 47 cents. Comparing year over year, the results improved 10% from adjusted earnings of 40 cents.

Quarterly revenues remained at almost the same level with the prior-year quarter at $32.58 billion, but surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $32.15 billion. Excluding the impact of the sale of the Advertising Solutions unit and effects of hurricane Sandy, revenues increased 2.8% year over year.

For full-year 2012, AT&T posted earnings of $2.31 per share (missing our projection by 2.5% but increasing 8.5% year over year), on revenues of $127.4 billion (up 0.6% from the last year).

In the fourth quarter, adjusted operating income decreased 0.7% year over year to $4.2 billion, while adjusted operating expenses crept up 3.3% year over year to $28.4 billion.

Segment Results

Wireless revenues, including service and equipment, rose 5.7% year over year to $17.6 billion in the quarter, primarily on the higher number of smartphone sold as well as branded computing device sales and lower churn. Wireless data revenues leaped 14.7% year over year to approximately $6.8 billion, driven by Internet access, multimedia and text messages.

AT&T added 1.1 million wireless customers in the reported quarter, totaling 107.0 million. Strong additions were attributable to the continued adoption of smartphones, including Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhones and Google Inc’s (GOOG) Android-based phones. Increased sales of tablets and robust Mobile Premise services also aided the growth.

Retail post-paid additions were 780,000 – reflecting the best figure in the last 12 quarters. Connected device additions were 246,000 and reseller additions were 234,000 in the reported quarter. However, the company lost about 166,000 prepaid customers as a result of a drop in GoPhone along with session-based tablets.

AT&T’s branded computing subscribers (including tablets, aircards, MiFi devices, tethering plans and other data-only devices) shot up 26%, bringing the total to 6.4 million.

During the quarter, the company touched a record sale of 10.2 million smartphones that comprised 86% of post-paid device sales and 89% of post-paid phone sales. Almost 55% postpaid smartphone subscribers have 4G-based devices. Notably, 16% of the iPhone customers were new to AT&T that provided new connections to 8.6 million phones.

Total churn for the quarter was 1.19% compared to 1.21% in the prior-year quarter. Post-paid ARPU (average revenue per user) grew 1.9% year over year to a record $64.98, driven by healthy data growth.

Wireline revenues dipped 0.5% year over year to $14.9 billion. Strong data revenues driven by improving consumer and business strategic services revenue trends partly compensated for lower voice and legacy revenues.

Revenues from residential customers increased 3.0% year over year (maximum growth in more than four years) to $5.5 billion, driven by robust AT&T U-verse services. Business revenues slid 2.1% year over year to $9.1 billion, reflecting the impacts of a sluggish economy. Strategic business services such as Ethernet, Virtual Private Networks, hosting, IP conferencing and application services, spiked 10.6% year over year.

AT&T's total video subscribers, which include U-verse TV and bundled satellite customers, touched 8.0 million at the end of the fourth quarter. Total U-verse TV subscribers reached 4.5 million with the net addition of 192,000 customers on continued high-speed Internet attach rates.

Financials

At the end of 2012, AT&T had $4.87 billion in cash and cash equivalents. The company had long-term debt (including current portion) of $69.8 billion, representing debt-to-capitalization ratio of 43.0%.

AT&T generated $39.2 billion of cash from operations in 2012. The company’s capital expenditure amounted to $19.5 billion. During 2012, the company repurchased 371 million shares for $12.8 billion in the reported quarter.

Outlook

For 2013, AT&T expects to witness revenue growth of more than 2%, aided by contributions from wireless services and wireline consumer business. Earnings per share will improve to upper single digits and above, while capital expenditure is expected to be around $21 billion.

Another Major Telecom Stock

The largest U.S. mobile service provider Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) reported fourth quarter 2012 results on Jan 22, with adjusted earnings of 45 cents per share coming below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 54 cents. The results also lagged the year-ago figure of 52 cents.

Our Take

AT&T currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We see strong growth prospects for the company driven by subscriber accretion, higher smartphones adoption, LTE mobile broadband network, iPhone sales and U-verse expansion. However, persistent access line losses, competitive pressures and heavy iPhone subsidies might drag near-term margins and earnings.
 

Read the Full Research Report on T

Read the Full Research Report on GOOG

Read the Full Research Report on AAPL

Read the Full Research Report on VZ

Zacks Investment Research



More From Zacks.com

  • Here's the Average Length of Retirement. Will Your Money Last That Long?
    Lifestyle
    Motley Fool

    Here's the Average Length of Retirement. Will Your Money Last That Long?

    If you're financially savvy, you're diligently saving and investing for retirement. You're probably a little uneasy about it all, though, not knowing exactly how much you need and, therefore, how on- or off-track you are. Part of the problem is that you

  • Russian Olympian Who Wore an 'I Don't Do Doping' Slogan Shirt Just Failed Her Drug Test
    World
    Time

    Russian Olympian Who Wore an 'I Don't Do Doping' Slogan Shirt Just Failed Her Drug Test

    Nadezhda Sergeeva, pilot of the two-woman bobsled team representing the Olympic Athletes from Russia, proudly proclaimed her anti-doping stance when she appeared in a YouTube video wearing a sweatshirt with the slogan “I don’t do doping” stamped brightly across the front. The federation says that the bobsledder does not have a prescription for the drug.

  • US asks judge to approve seizure of Pharma Bro's assets
    Finance
    Associated Press

    US asks judge to approve seizure of Pharma Bro's assets

    NEW YORK (AP) — "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli appeared in court Friday for the first time since a judge locked him up for his online antics, and the brash former pharmaceutical CEO had a new look since his bail was revoked in September: a scruffy beard that made his appearance less boyish. "Under the circumstances, I think he's doing remarkably well," his attorney, Ben Brafman, told reporters when asked about his client's stint in a fortress-like federal jail in Brooklyn. U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto didn't immediately rule on the government's demand that Shkreli should have to forfeit $7.3 million in assets, including a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" album that he has boasted he bought for $2 million.

  • General Electric Cuts $2.4 Billion Off S&P-Worst Pension Deficit
    Finance
    Bloomberg

    General Electric Cuts $2.4 Billion Off S&P-Worst Pension Deficit

    General Electric Co. trimmed its pension deficit by $2.4 billion as the manufacturer tackles the worst shortfall in corporate America. The company closed 2017 with $100.3 billion in obligations across its pension plans and $71.6 billion in assets. Pension funding has become a central issue for GE stakeholders concerned about how the beleaguered company will meet its obligations while dealing with severe cash-flow and earnings challenges.

  • These Companies Are Sticking By The NRA
    Business
    HuffPost

    These Companies Are Sticking By The NRA

    NRA officials have gone on the attack to rail against the “politicization” of a tragedy, and going so far as to suggest that members of the media “love mass shootings” because of the ratings they supposedly bring. Enterprise Holdings, which operates the rental car brands Enterprise, National and Alamo, says it will end its discount program for NRA members next month, along with Avis and Budget.

  • Democrats distance themselves from Nancy Pelosi
    Politics
    Fox Business Videos

    Democrats distance themselves from Nancy Pelosi

    Former President George W. Bush Deputy Assistant Brad Blakeman discusses why Democrats are starting to disengage from Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

  • Michael B. Jordan Had a Hilarious Response to an Internet Troll's Judgmental Opinion
    Celebrity
    Time

    Michael B. Jordan Had a Hilarious Response to an Internet Troll's Judgmental Opinion

    Michael B. Jordan’s charismatic turn as villain Erik Killmonger in Black Panther has commanded the collective attention of the Internet, some of who have taken it upon themselves to do extensive research into how Jordan lives his life off-camera, which has prompted a response from the actor himself. In an interview last year with Vogue, Jordan revealed that he shares a home with his parents and that he’d love to visit Tokyo, Japan because he loves anime, two facts that a Twitter user slyly pointed out might not be as endearing if they hadn’t come from the charming Fruitvale Station actor. As might be expected, the tweet went viral, catching the attention of Jordan himself, who had a pithy clap back to the tweet of his own.

  • Lisa Marie Presley Sues Manager for 'Reckless Mismanagement' of $100 Million Elvis Fortune
    Celebrity
    People

    Lisa Marie Presley Sues Manager for 'Reckless Mismanagement' of $100 Million Elvis Fortune

    Lisa Marie Presley and her financial manager Barry Siegel are in a legal battle after it was revealed that she’s $16.7 million in debt — Presley going after his “reckless and negligent mismanagement” of her inherited estate and Siegel claiming she “squandered” her own fortune due to her “excessive spending” habits. Much of that, she alleges, began in 2005 when Siegel sold 85 percent of her interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises in order to align himself with a famous investor tied to the holding company of American Idol. By 2016, Presley claims Siegel had liquidated almost all of the trust’s remaining principles — especially after the Idol holding company went bankrupt.

  • President Trump Went Way Off Script and Turned His CPAC Speech into a Campaign Rally
    Politics
    Time

    President Trump Went Way Off Script and Turned His CPAC Speech into a Campaign Rally

    When President Donald Trump took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday morning, he clearly wanted to have some fun. For more than an hour, Trump held court, largely eschewing a teleprompter filled with prepared remarks on North Korea sanctions and remembrances for Billy Graham and the victims of the Parkland, Fla. shooting, instead choosing to ramble enthusiastically about familiar themes in his typical campaign style. Early in his CPAC speech, Trump caught a glimpse of himself in a TV monitor and joked, “I try like hell to hide the bald spot,” turning around to show the audience the back of his head.

  • In 1961 a Plane Crash Killed the Entire U.S. Figure Skating Team. Here's How the Tragic Legacy Lives On
    News
    Time

    In 1961 a Plane Crash Killed the Entire U.S. Figure Skating Team. Here's How the Tragic Legacy Lives On

    Fifty-seven years ago this month, the U.S. figure skating team was devastated by a plane crash. The star-spangled athletes were on their way to compete at the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, where they were expected to score medals and launch into preparations for the 1964 Olympics. The tragedy was mourned across the nation and shattered the figure skating world, which the U.S. had dominated for over a decade.

  • Girl injured by dog during boarding for Southwest flight
    Lifestyle
    Associated Press

    Girl injured by dog during boarding for Southwest flight

    Southwest Airlines said Thursday that a dog injured a child as passengers boarded a flight in Phoenix, an event likely to fuel the debate over the growing number of emotional-support animals on planes. A passenger on Wednesday's Phoenix-to-Portland, Oregon, flight tweeted that a dog bit a girl as she approached it, and that she screamed and cried. Southwest said the dog's teeth "scraped a child's forehead" and paramedics checked the girl, who appeared to be 6 or 7 years old.

  • Inside Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir’s Rise From Olympic Figure Skaters to Beloved Commentators
    Celebrity
    Time

    Inside Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir’s Rise From Olympic Figure Skaters to Beloved Commentators

    Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir were bonding over their Céline bags while sitting outside of the NBC studios in Stamford, Connecticut, in 2013 when they had an idea. What if, they thought, they analyzed figure skating on camera at the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi together? Before that point, the two former Olympic figure skating stars had been preparing to commentate on the men’s and women’s events at the Games separately, both alongside NBC Sports’s Terry Gannon.

  • This Las Vegas Airport Is Letting People Dump Their Marijuana Before Flying
    News
    Time

    This Las Vegas Airport Is Letting People Dump Their Marijuana Before Flying

    Tourists catching a flight out of Sin City can now dump their leftover legal marijuana in metal containers set up at the airport. The 10 green bins dubbed “amnesty boxes” prevent federal transportation agents from finding pot on passengers during security screenings. The containers were installed last week following a county ban on marijuana possession and advertising at McCarran International Airport, aiming to keep it in compliance with federal law.

  • Top Dividend Stocks Warren Buffett Is Buying Now
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Top Dividend Stocks Warren Buffett Is Buying Now

    Warren Buffett's ability to pick winning stocks for long-term gains makes knowing what stocks he's buying for Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) portfolio worthwhile. Fortunately, Berkshire Hathaway -- like all big investors -- must file a 13F report with the Securities and Exchange Commission each quarter that shows what Warren Buffett's been up to. The latest report shows he's been picking up shares in dividend companies, including The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), and Monsanto (NYSE: MON).

  • President Trump Still Hasn't Forgiven John McCain for Killing Obamacare Repeal
    Politics
    Time

    President Trump Still Hasn't Forgiven John McCain for Killing Obamacare Repeal

    President Donald Trump has again blasted Sen. John McCain for voting against the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act last summer — but did not once call him by name. “We’re having tremendous plans coming out now, healthcare plans, at a fraction of the cost, that are much better than Obamacare,” Trump said Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “Remember — one person walked into a room when he was supposed to go this way,” Trump added, giving a thumbs up sign, “and he walked in and went this way [thumbs down] and everyone said, ‘What happened?

  • Hyundai Overtakes Its German Luxury Car Rivals
    Business
    Bloomberg Video

    Hyundai Overtakes Its German Luxury Car Rivals

    Feb.22 -- In its debut year, Hyundai’s luxury line bumped Volkswagen AG’s Audi from top billing to the No. 2 spot, with premium mainstays BMW, Toyota Motor Corp.’s Lexus and VW’s Porsche rounding out the top five. Bloomberg's Dave McCombs reports on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia."

  • Citigroup to refund $335 million of credit card interest charges
    Business
    Reuters

    Citigroup to refund $335 million of credit card interest charges

    Citigroup Inc (C.N) said on Friday that it had failed to properly reduce interest charges on some 1.75 million credit card accounts since 2011, prompting a $335 million (239.65 million pounds) refund to customers later this year. The refund, which will average $190 per account, stems from the bank's discovery that it had not used a proper method for reducing interest charges for cardholders who resumed timely payments after having had to pay penalty rates for lapses. The errors amounted to about 10 percent of the interest reductions cardholders were due, the bank said.

  • Why Nvidia (NVDA) Stock Is the Cheapest It's Been in Nearly a Year
    Finance
    Zacks

    Why Nvidia (NVDA) Stock Is the Cheapest It's Been in Nearly a Year

    It is no secret that Nvidia NVDA is one of Wall Street’s most popular stocks. The graphics chip maker is a dominant force in the global gaming industry, and its tireless investments in self-driving cars, machine learning, and artificial intelligence all but guarantee the company a spot among the tech industry’s leaders for years to come. Nvidia’s leadership and innovation have also led to a massive surge in the company’s stock.

  • Broward Sheriff Deputy Resigns After Video Shows He Avoided School Shooting
    News
    Time

    Broward Sheriff Deputy Resigns After Video Shows He Avoided School Shooting

    The Broward sheriff deputy assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resigned on Thursday, about a week after a school shooting there that left 17 people dead. Scot Peterson, a school resource officer from the Broward County Sheriff’s office, waited outside the school building without ever going inside, sheriff Scott Israel said during a news conference on Thursday. “What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of building 12, take up a position, and he never went in,” Israel said Thursday, referring to the school building where the shooter went on his rampage.

  • Canada's Trudeau spurs criticism, raises eyebrows on India trip
    World
    Reuters

    Canada's Trudeau spurs criticism, raises eyebrows on India trip

    By Andrea Hopkins and Nidhi Verma OTTAWA/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Canadian and Indian officials scrambled on Thursday to explain how a convicted Sikh extremist was invited to a New Delhi reception for Justin Trudeau, the latest misstep in the Canadian prime minister's bumpy eight-day trip to India. The tour has been overshadowed by suggestions of a lukewarm reception by the government and a series of photo ops featuring the Trudeau family in coordinated Indian attire that have raised eyebrows in both countries. The latest flashpoint, a swiftly cancelled invitation by the Canadian delegation to Jaspal Atwal -- convicted in 1986 of the attempted murder of an Indian politician visiting Canada -- came just days after Trudeau had assured his hosts he would not support anyone trying to revive a separatist movement in India.

  • GE says it may face U.S. action over subprime mortgage operations
    Business
    Reuters

    GE says it may face U.S. action over subprime mortgage operations

    General Electric Co (GE.N) faces potential action by the U.S. Justice Department over allegations that its GE Capital unit and now defunct WMC Mortgage Corp unit violated U.S. law in connection with subprime mortgages, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. GE said the department "is likely to assert" violation of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) "in connection with WMC's origination and sale of subprime mortgage loans in 2006 and 2007," the filing said. "WMC and GE Capital will explore whether an acceptable settlement of this matter can be reached.

  • MGM Resorts Struggles on the Las Vegas Strip
    Business
    Motley Fool

    MGM Resorts Struggles on the Las Vegas Strip

    Revenue was up 5.5% for MGM Resorts to $2.6 billion and net income jumped from $24.7 million a year ago to $1.4 billion, or $2.42 per share. Digging into the numbers, you get a picture of why MGM Resorts had an underwhelming quarter in what seemed to be a favorable operating environment. Revenue per available room was down 4.9% on the Las Vegas Strip, driven by high-end resorts like Bellagio, MGM Grand Las Vegas, and Mandalay Bay all having both lower average daily room rates and lower occupancy versus a year ago.

  • Dear America, here's how other countries stop mass shootings
    News
    Quartz

    Dear America, here's how other countries stop mass shootings

    Yesterday, Donald Trump met with a group of students, teachers, and parents to discuss last week’s school shooting massacre in Parkland, Florida and the uniquely American epidemic of school shootings. Referring to the shootings, Trump asked his guests, “Does anyone have any ideas for how to stop it?” The White House’s selected guests suggested a variety of areas to troubleshoot: Mental illness, bullying, FBI negligence, gun-free zones (which the president has publicly blamed for attracting “maniacs”), censorship, partisanship, lack of relatedness, obsession with identity, lack of expert “consultants,” lack of safety training for students, and even the absence of armed, undercover police in schools.

  • 3 Top AI Stocks in China to Buy Now
    Business
    Motley Fool

    3 Top AI Stocks in China to Buy Now

    While it's widely regarded as the leader in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), the United States isn't the only country producing advanced AI technology. China currently lags the U.S. in AI research, but the Middle Kingdom has announced to the world that it's no longer content to remain in the shadow of the West. Last July, the government of China announced an ambitious policy regarding AI: close the gap with the U.S. in terms of AI research within three years and become the world leader in the field by 2030.

  • In One Tweet, Kylie Jenner Wiped Out $1.3 Billion of Snap’s Market Value
    Business
    Bloomberg

    In One Tweet, Kylie Jenner Wiped Out $1.3 Billion of Snap’s Market Value

    Snap Inc.’s flagship platform has lost some luster, at least according to one social-media influencer in the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Shares of the Snapchat parent company sank 6.1 percent on Thursday, wiping out $1.3 billion in market value, on the heels of a tweet on Wednesday from Kylie Jenner, who said she doesn’t open the app anymore. Whether it’s the demands of her newfound motherhood, or the recent app redesign, the testament drew similar replies from her 24.5 million followers. Wall Street analysts too have begun to notice, citing recent user engagement trends noticed since the platform’s redesign.  Jenner’s tweet was followed late Thursday by one from Maybelline New York, asking its followers