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AT&T Guides Below Street, Stock Dips

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- AT&T (T - Get Report) met fourth-quarter targets, but guided below analysts' estimates for 2011.

Ma Bell posted adjusted earnings of 55 cents a share, up 10 percent from the 50 cent mark in the year-ago quarter, and a penny better than expected.

Sales for the fourth quarter were $31.4 billion, a 2% increase over year-ago levels and just slightly below the $31.5 billion analysts had been looking for.

"We had another strong quarter and a solid year," CEO Randall Stephenson said in a press release Thursday.

Showing the beginnings of what is expected to be a slowdown in wireless subscriber growth as rival Verizon starts selling the Apple (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone next month, AT&T says it added 400,000 post-paid mobile phone subscribers in the fourth quarter. That compares with 745,000 post-paid customers added in the third quarter.

Offsetting that slightly, AT&T says it did add 442,000 iPad and Google (GOOG - Get Report) Android tablet customers to its prepaid roster in the quarter.

Looking ahead at the full year, AT&T says it expects earnings to growth in the "mid-single digit or better range." Analysts were looking for 9% or better earnings growth this year.

AT&T shares fell 98 cents, or 3.4%, to $27.75 in premarket trading Thursday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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