April 21, 2023: On Thursday, AT&T shares decreased after the telecommunications giant reported first-quarter results that witnessed subscriber increase but a miss on revenue.
The company added 424,000 postpaid phone plans, representing the number of businesses and individual consumers paying their bills at the end of every month.
That matched Wall Street expectations but marked a dip compared to AT&T’s previous numbers, significantly earlier in the pandemic. In the year-earlier period, AT&T added 691,000 postpaid phone subscribers.
Investors look to postpaid phone numbers for the overall well-being of wireless companies’ profit centres. The early pandemic increased the importance of a reliable cell connection, and analysts are looking for slowdown indicators.
During the company’s last earnings call, AT&T executives said they expect the wireless industry increase to return to “normalized” levels this year.
Below analyst estimates, the carrier’s operations produced $1 billion in free cash flow.
On Thursday, during its earnings call, AT&T executives stated that the decline was “consistent with anticipation” due to the timing of capital investments and gadget payments. Executives noted that the company “remains confident” it will meet its forecast to generate nearly $16 billion in free cash flow this year.
After we traded off DirecTV in 2021, AT&T has primarily focused on growing its wireless and home internet services.
“We believe the results demonstrate that the customer-centric strategy we launched three years ago continues to giver the right mix of quality subscriber and profit increase that will prove sustainable more than the longer term,” CEO John Stankey said in the firm’s earnings call.