AT&T (T)

Q4 2010 Earnings Call

January 27, 2011 10:00 am ET


Rick Lindner - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Senior Executive Vice President

Brooks McCorcle - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations

Randall Stephenson - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of Executive Committee


Christopher Larsen - Piper Jaffray Companies

John Hodulik - UBS Investment Bank

Philip Cusick - JP Morgan Chase & Co

Timothy Horan - Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

Simon Flannery - Morgan Stanley

David Barden

Brett Feldman - Deutsche Bank AG



Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the AT&T Fourth Quarter 2010 Earnings Release. [Operator Instructions] With that being said, I'll turn the conference now to Brooks McCorcle. Please go ahead.

Brooks McCorcle

Thanks, John. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our fourth quarter conference call. It's great to have you with us. I know that many of you are dealing with a lot of snow this morning, so a special thanks for the extra effort to be here. As John mentioned, this is Brooks McCorcle, Head of Investor Relations for AT&T. And joining me on the call today are Randall Stephenson, AT&T's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Rick Lindner, AT&T's Chief Financial Officer. Randall will provide some opening comments and perspective on 2010 and our outlook. Rick will cover results, and we'll take your questions.

Before we get started, let me remind you that our release, investor briefing, supplementary information and the presentation slides that accompany this call are all available on the Investor Relations page of the AT&T website. And that's

I also need to cover our Safe Harbor statement, which is on Slide 3. And that says that information set forth in this presentation contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. A discussion of the factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update or revise statements contained in this presentation based on new information or otherwise.

This presentation may contain certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations between the non-GAAP financial measures and the GAAP financial measures are also available on the our website. And again, that's at

With that, I will now turn the call over to AT&T's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Randall Stephenson. Randall?

Randall Stephenson

Thanks, Brooks. Good morning, everyone. Before Rick covers our results, I want to take just a couple of minutes and offer my view of the business and what you should expect from us in 2011. And as you've seen in our release, we had a very productive 2010. Our revenues grew. We grew earnings. Cash flow was strong. We closed the year well, and we expect another solid year in 2011 with continued revenue growth, margin expansion and growth in EPS and free cash flow.

As we look ahead, our confidence in the industry and our business in particular continues to be very high. We've invested heavily over the past few years, and those investments are beginning to scale. And it's driving revenue growth and margin improvements, and you know what these areas are. U-verse has driven growth in our consumer revenues now each of the last two quarters. And based on the results so far this year, we're adding more pay-TV subscribers than any other U.S. provider. Our VPN capabilities have proven to be a really strong platform for our strategic business services, and these services are going at a consistent mid-teens clip. And on top of these, mobile broadband is obviously our big driver. We just posted the best Wireless net add year in our history. In the fourth quarter, our mobile data revenues grew better than 27%, and we've grown postpaid ARPU now for eight straight quarters. As mobile broadband phenomenon just continues to exceed all of our expectations, our industry has, frankly, never experienced anything quite like it, and we haven't even talked about 4G yet.

And as you know, we've completed our nationwide HSPA+ deployment, and where we combine that with advanced backhaul, we're getting 4G speeds today up to six meg. And we have plan to launch around 20 4G devices this year, two in the first quarter.

And then on top of this, we've accelerated our LTE deployment. And when you combine HSPA+ with LTE, it's going to result in a much more consistent 4G experience for our customers. And then on the business side, when you take these mobile broadband capabilities and then layer on cloud and applications-based services, it really begins to let customers mobilize everything they do. So these are all large opportunities. They're scalable opportunities. And they're all early in their growth cycles. And as you can see from our results in sales of tablet and connected devices and our strong growth rates and strategic business services, we're way out front in each of these areas.

Now while the future Mobility will be driven by broadband, mobile voice quality is, obviously, important. And over the last 45 days with our vendors finally clearing their backlogs, we brought online a significant amount of new capacity. And our call retainability across the country is up 20 basis points at about 99%. And we see even greater improvements in Manhattan and San Francisco, and you should expect voice quality improvement throughout this year. So that's just a real quick overview. Again, 2010 was a very productive year. We're executing well. I expect another strong year in 2011 in our key platforms: Mobile Broadband, Business Solutions and U-verse. We think they're going to provide a nice platform for growth in the years ahead.

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