Telecom giant AT&T, Inc. reported Thursday slightly higher profit in its third quarter, but flat per share earnings amid weak operating revenues. Looking ahead for fiscal 2022, the company now expects adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations to be $2.50 or higher.
Reuters reported that the company’s previous earnings expectations for fiscal 2022 were between $2.42 and $2.46 per share. In the year 2021, the company recorded adjusted earnings per share of $3.40.
In pre-market activity on the NYSE, AT&T shares were gaining around 2.3 percent to trade at $15.90.
AT&T CEO John Stankey said, “… we now expect to achieve wireless service revenue growth in the upper end of the 4.5 percent to 5 percent range. We remain confident in our ability to achieve, or surpass, all our financial commitments for the year, while still investing to bring our customers the industry’s best services.”
On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect earnings of $2.56 per share for the year. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
The company also said it is on track to achieve more than $4 billion of the $6 billion run-rate cost savings target by end of year.
In its third quarter, net income attributable to common stock edged up 1.9 percent to $5.98 billion from last year’s $5.87 billion. Earnings per share, meanwhile, remained flat with prior year’s $0.80.
Income from continuing operations was $6.3 billion, up from $5.0 billion in the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share from continuing operations climbed 25.4 percent to $0.79 from last year’s $0.63.
Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.68, compared to $0.66 in the year-ago quarter. On a standalone AT&T comparative basis, adjusted earnings per share was $0.62 in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts expected earnings of $0.61 per share for the quarter.
Total operating revenues declined 4.1 percent to $30.04 billion from last year’s $31.33 billion, reflecting the impact of the U.S. Video separation in July 2021. Analysts estimated revenues of $29.84 billion for the quarter.
Excluding the impact of U.S. Video, operating revenues for standalone AT&Twere up 3.1 percent.
In the quarter, the company showed strong, sustained momentum in customer additions across its growing 5G wireless and fiber networks.
Third-quarter Communications Operational revenues were $29.1 billion, up 3.2 percent year over year primarily reflecting higher Mobility revenues, as well as Consumer Wireline and Mexico, partly offset by lower Business Wireline revenues.
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