AT&T Shares Slip on $10B Charge

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - AT&T ( T) will take a huge $10 billion fourth-quarter charge related to its pension and benefit plans, the company warned late on Thursday.

"We expect to record a non-cash, pre-tax charge of approximately $10 billion related to actuarial gains and losses on pension and postemployment benefit plans," AT&T revealed, in a regulatory filing.

The news pushed AT&T's shares down 1.23% to $32.79 in extended trading.

AT&T also warned that high smartphone subsidies will put pressure on the firm's fourth-quarter profit. "Due to the high subsidies on these devices, we expect a near-term pressure on operating income, margins, and earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2012," it said, in its 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Dallas-based firm sold approximately 10.2 million smartphones during the quarter ending Dec.31, according to the filing.

AT&T also estimated that the impact of storms, including Superstorm Sandy, will reduce its fourth-quarter operating income by around $175 million, primarily in the company's Wireless business.

The Verizon ( VZ) rival reports its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 24.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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