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comfortably beat Wall Street's profit forecast in its second quarter getting a boost from record wireless margins.

The telecom giant earned 66 cents a share, up from 60 cents a share in the prior year's quarter, and above the consensus estimate of 63 cents a share.

AT&T brought in revenue of $31.6 billion, a slight increase of 0.3% from the prior year's quarter, and just below analysts' estimate of $31.7 billion.

Total wireless revenue came in at $16.4 billion, a year-over-year increase of 4.8%. Wireless data revenue was $6.4 billion, an increase of 18.8% over the same period.

The company also enjoyed its highest-ever wireless margins. AT&T's wireless operating income margin was 30.3%, compared to 26.9% in the second quarter of last year, and its wireless EBITDA service margin rose to 45% from 41.1% over the same period.

"We executed well across the business and posted another strong quarter with growing revenues, expanding margins and double-digit earnings growth," explained Randall Stephenson, the AT&T CEO, in a note released before market open.

Investors responded positively to the numbers, pushing AT&T's shares up 1.33% to $35.85 in premarket trading.

AT&T also enjoyed its best-ever postpaid, prepaid and total wireless churn during the second quarter. Postpaid churn dropped to 0.97% from 1.15% in the second quarter of 2011.

The Dallas-based company activated 3.7 million iPhones during the quarter, with 22% new to AT&T. This number, however, was down from 4.3 million iPhones during the

first quarter


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2.7 million iPhones during its own second quarter, results of which were released last week.

AT&T's total second-quarter smartphone sales were 5.1 million.

The company's total wireline revenue was $14.9 billion, down 0.8% from the prior year's quarter.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

Follow @jamesjrogers

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