AT&T clocks up 2.6 million net new wireless subscribers, bigger profits in Q3

AT&T's balance sheet just keeps looking happier and happier every quarter. In spite of the company's somewhat questionable hardware choices -- such as picking the ugly option from both Samsung's and LG's Windows Phone 7 platters -- it now proudly boasts a total of 92.8 million active wireless service lines. This comes off the back of a 2.6 million net subscriber gain over the third quarter of 2010, a record for this period of the year. Churn, or the rate at which people left AT&T, was also at its best ever for the quarter, coming in at a lowly 1.32 percent, while postpaid integrated device (read: smartphone on a contract) activations reached above the eight million mark. Total net profit was $12.3 billion, thanks to the sale of Sterling Commerce and a one-off tax adjustment, but in cashflow terms the company made $4.0b in the quarter. That's a lot of dinero, no doubt aided by Q3 being the first full reporting period after the iPhone 4's launch, we just wish some of AT&T's other phones weren't quite so unappealing.

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Record Wireless Sales, Strong Revenue and Earnings Growth Highlight AT&T's Third-Quarter Results

Dallas, Texas, October 21, 2010

$2.08 diluted EPS compared to $0.54 diluted EPS in the third quarter of 2009; EPS of $0.55, excluding $1.53 in one-time gains from a previously disclosed tax settlement and the sale of Sterling Commerce

Consolidated revenues from continuing operations of $31.6 billion in the third quarter, up $847 million, or 2.8 percent, versus the year-earlier period

11.4 percent growth in wireless revenues, with a 10.5 percent increase in wireless service revenues

Record wireless volumes, with more than 8 million postpaid integrated device sales

2.6 million increase in total wireless subscribers - the highest third-quarter net gain in the company's history - to reach 92.8 million subscribers in service

Postpaid subscriber ARPU (average monthly revenues per subscriber) up 2.0 percent to $62.84, the seventh consecutive quarter with a year-over-year increase

1.32 percent total wireless churn, best-ever third-quarter

30.5 percent growth in wireless data revenues, up $1.1 billion versus the year-earlier quarter

First year-over-year growth in wireline consumer revenues in more than two years

30.0 percent growth in consumer IP data revenues, driven by AT&T U-verse® expansion

236,000 net gain in AT&T U-verse TV subscribers to reach 2.7 million in service, with continued high broadband and voice attach rates

148,000 net gain in wireline broadband connections

15.4 percent growth in revenues from strategic business services such as Ethernet, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), hosting and application services