Skip to main content

Updated AT&T subscriber slowdown story with recent stock price.



) --


(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report

wireless contract subscriber growth dropped 88% from year-ago levels as


(AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report

iPhone finally started selling at rival


(VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report


Ma Bell said it added a net 62,000 post-paid wireless customers in the first quarter, compared to the 512,000 subscribers it added a year ago when it sold the iPhone exclusively.

Subtracting the 58,000 tablet contract customers added in the quarter, AT&T narrowly avoided -- by 4,000 users -- a net loss of post-paid phone subscribers for the quarter.

TheStreet Recommends

Overall, AT&T says it added a total of 2 million new wireless customers in the first quarter, a number that includes 1.3 million so-called connected devices like


(AMZN) - Get, Inc. Report

Kindles and MiFi hot spot boxes.

But the loss of the iPhone exclusivity has

dramatically slowed down

the company's crucial wireless contract customer growth.

AT&T says it wasn't as bad as some people had expected.

"We're happy with our results. This was the first quarter another carrier was selling the iPhone, and our results show the threat of that competition was way overblown," an AT&T representative said Wednesday.

On the financial front, AT&T posted adjusted earnings excluding one-time items of 57 cents a share, two cents below year-ago levels but in-line with analysts' expectations, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Sales for the first quarter were $31.2 billion, up 2% from the $30.6 posted a year ago and inline with analysts' estimates.

"We posted double-digit wireless revenue growth, and we set new first-quarter records in total net adds, connected device net adds and smartphone sales," CEO Randall Stephenson said in a press release Wednesday.

On the wired side, AT&T added 218,000 customers to its u-Verse TV service, some analysts were expecting 200,000 or more.

AT&T shares fell 31 cents, or 1%, to $30.00 in mid-morning trading Wednesday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

Readers Also Like:


10 New or Improved iPad Apps


3 Reasons Netflix Will Report Blowout Numbers