AT&T Inc. (T - Get Report) posted first-quarter earnings Wednesday that were largely in-line with analysts' forecasts, even as postpaid phone additions came in much stronger than analysts had forecast.
AT&T said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in March came in at 86 cents per share, up 1 penny from the same period last year and matching the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, AT&T said, rose 17.9% from last year to $44.8 billion, but narrowly missed analysts's estimates of $45.11 billion. Net postpaid phone subscriber additions for the quarter were pegged at 80,000, the company said, compared for the FactSet consensus of a 44,000 loss.
"Our first-quarter results show that we're delivering on what we promised," said CEO Randall Stephenson. "We're on plan to meet our de-leveraging goals with strong free cash flow and asset sales. We grew Entertainment Group EBITDA in the quarter and are confident we'll meet or exceed our full-year target. FirstNet deployment continues ahead of schedule. And we are recognized for having the nation's best wireless network1, as well as the fastest network2.
"All this speaks volumes about our focus on our strategic priorities and our ability to grow our Mobility, WarnerMedia and emerging Xandr businesses," he added. "Our teams are executing well and have turned in a good performance to start the year."
AT&T shares were marked 3% lower at the start of trading immediately following the earnings release to change hands at $31.14 each, a move that would trim the stock's year-to-date gain to around 11%.