AT&T Wireless Extends Industry Winning Streak - TheStreet

AT&T Wireless Extends Industry Winning Streak

Another big service provider adds more customers than observers expected.
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Updated from July 24

AT&T Wireless

(AWE)

continued the recent wireless growth procession Wednesday, posting better-than-expected earnings and customer additions.

The nation's No. 3 cell-phone service posted a second-quarter profit and exceeded Wall Street's expectations. For the quarter ended June 30, AT&T Wireless earned $228 million, or 8 cents a share, up from the year-ago $24 million, or 1 cent a share. Revenue rose 5% to $4.1 billion. The results bettered analysts' expectations for a 4-cent profit and $4 billion in revenue, according to a Multex tally.

Matching gains posted in

recent reports by wireless rivals

Nextel

(NXTL)

and Cingular, AT&T Wireless also exceeded subscriber growth targets. The Redmond, Wash., wireless shop added 446,000 new customers, taking its total subscriber rolls to 21.5 million. Industry observers had expected 360,000 net adds.

In Thursday trading, AT&T Wireless jumped 71 cents, or 9%, to $8.51.

The wireless telcos have been

exerting extra effort to sign up customers ahead of a November rule that allows users to keep their cell-phone numbers if they switch services.

For the year, the company said it would hit the high end of its projected service revenue growth range between 4% and 7%. Wall Street was counting on 4%.

Said one bull, they "raised to beatable levels."

Wireless industry watchers will now turn their eyes to

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

and

Sprint PCS

(PCS)

, which report earnings next week.