AT&T Shares Dive on Weak Subscriber Growth

Key Takeaways

  • Shares of AT&T (T) dropped more than 10% on April 20, 2023, after the company reported underwhelming subscriber and revenue numbers.
  • The company has been focused on growing mobile phone subscribers since its sale of DirecTV in 2021.
  • Shares of competitors Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile (TMUS) also moved lower.

AT&T (T) shares fell 10.41%, in the biggest one-day decline since July 2002, after the telecom giant reported weak subscriber growth and its revenue missed targets. 

In its 2023 first quarter earnings report, the company said that it added 424,000 postpaid phone plans, representing the amount of consumers that pay their bills at the end of each month. While that was better than analyst projections, it was below the 691,000 postpaid phone subscribers it reported in the first quarter a year ago.

Mobile phone subscriber growth has been a priority for the Dallas-based telecommunications company since it sold DirectTV in 2021. 

AT&T reported first quarter net income of $4.18 billion, at 57 cents per share, compared with income of $4.76 billion, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier. The company reported revenues of $30.14 billion, up from $29.71 billion a year ago. The results come in under analyst forecasts, as AT&T was projected to report net income of $4.3 billion on operating revenues of $30.3 billion.

Shares of AT&T competitors Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile (TMUS) also lost ground. Both companies are set to report earnings next week.


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