NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AT&T (T) fell 1.16% to $33.31, down 39 cents from its previous close of $33.70, at the close of the trading day on Wednesday after the wireless carrier reported better-than-expected earnings, but subscriber growth slowed for the fourth quarter.
The stock had fallen to one-year low of $32.01 shortly after the market opened on Wednesday morning, but it recovered throughout the day and maintained a relatively steady climb almost until the closing bell. AT&T has a one-year high of $39 and hit a high of $33.55 for the day. It amassed a volume of 82,914,388, nearly four times its average of 22,581,200.
AT&T said it added 809,000 net wireless subscribers in the fourth-quarter and added 566,000 wireless devices to its contract-based plans, the most lucrative of the company's plans. That latter figure fell below the expectation of 636,000 from the analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The 566,000 additions also trailed the market leader, Verizon (VZ), which added 1.6 million subscribers, and T-Mobile U.S. (TMUS), which added 869,000.
"Price competition is heating up and 2014 EPS guidance was at the low end of expectations," said David Peltier, Portfolio Manager of DividendStockAdvisor.com. "Still, I'd take the 5.7% dividend yield, over VZ's 4.5%, at current levels."
The company announced it earned $1.31 a share, in the quarter, compared to a loss of 68 cents in the same period one year earlier. The results included a gain of $7.6 billion related to pensions. Adjusted earnings per share were 53 cents, excluding items, which surpassed analysts' expectations. Revenue climbed 2% to $33.2 billion, which also beat analysts' expectations. Wireless revenue, including equipment sales, grew 5% to $18.4 billion. Finally, the customer defection rate came in at 1.11%.