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What You Need To Know Ahead of AT&T’s Earnings Report Wednesday

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Key Takeaways

  • AT&T and other telecommunications rivals report earnings next week, with Verizon on Monday, AT&T Wednesday, and T-Mobile Thursday.
  • Investors will be tracking AT&T’s subscriber growth for wireless service and broadband internet, along with updates on plans to cut $2 billion in costs by mid-2026.
  • AT&T also may give updates on a February outage that affected thousands of customers, and a data breach that leaked information on about 73 million current and former customers to the dark web earlier this year.

AT&T (T) is set to report earnings for the first quarter of 2024 on Wednesday, in a week filled with telecommunications earnings.

Analysts expect AT&T to report $30.54 billion in revenue for the quarter, with an adjusted net income of $3.9 billion and a diluted earnings per share (EPS) of 51 cents, according to estimates compiled by Visible Alpha. Those figures represent an uptick in revenue from the same time last year, but decreased profitability.

  Analyst Estimates for Q1 2024 Q4 2023 Q1 2023
Revenue $30.54 billion $32.02 billion $30.14 billion
Diluted EPS $0.51 $0.30 $0.58
Net Income $3.68 billion $2.14 billion $4.18 billion

Key Metric: Subscriber Growth

AT&T, like rivals such as Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile (TMUS) which report earnings on Monday and Thursday respectively, is working to continue growing its subscriber numbers for wireless and internet services, as well to expand the availability of its 5G network.

Wireless service is the biggest driver of revenue for AT&T, with 71.3 million subscribers as of the fourth quarter of 2023. The company also said in its fourth-quarter report that it was projecting 2024 revenue growth of about 3% for its wireless division, along with growth of at least 7% for the broadband internet sector.

In the first quarter of 2023, AT&T added 542,000 mobile subscribers but posted an overall loss in broadband subscribers despite adding 272,000 users to its AT&T Fiber network.

Business Spotlight: Cost-Cutting Efforts, February Outage, Data Breach

After completing a years-long plan to cut $6 billion in costs by the end of fiscal 2023, the company said in its fourth-quarter report that it planned to expand the effort, targeting an additional $2 billion in savings by the middle of 2026.

Investors and analysts may be looking for more detail on where AT&T thinks it can find those cuts over the next two years, and how they progressed through the first quarter of 2024.

The company also may give updates on a pair of events that affected its share price in recent months. In February, an outage the company later said was due to a software error was felt by thousands of customers across the U.S., including temporarily losing the ability to call 911.

Last month, AT&T released a statement that said the company was in the process of contacting some 73 million current and former customers who may have had personal information, including Social Security numbers, leaked onto the “dark web.” The company recommended that all customers who may be affected sign up for fraud alerts from credit bureaus like Experian or Equifax, and said the more than 7 million current users should reset any passwords associated with AT&T accounts.

AT&T stock is down almost 1.6% so far this year and nearly 17% over the last 12 months, with shares closing at $16.57 on Friday.

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