AT&T Stock Rises 6% As Positive Outcomes Overshadow Modest Profit Expectations

T Stock

AT&T Stock (NYSE:T)

AT&T stock increased by 6% in early trading on Wednesday as the telecom giant posted better results for the fourth quarter than anticipated. Despite this, the company provided a dismal profit prediction for 2023.

AT&T (NYSE:T) gained 656,000 postpaid phone users during the fourth quarter of 2022, much more than the 644,800 subscribers that industry experts anticipated.

The firm announced a profit of 61 cents per share on revenue of $31.3 billion, excluding one-time items, which compares to the consensus forecast of 57 cents per share on sales of $31.37 billion from market experts. AT&T lost $3.20 per share on a net basis. This loss was partly caused by a pre-tax writedown of $29.4 billion caused by increasing interest rates and asset impairment costs.

In addition, AT&T brought on 280,000 new Fiber customers during the quarter, bringing its total for the year to 2.9 million new net subscribers.

The number of customers to broadband services dropped by 43,000 during the quarter, bringing the total number of subscribers to broadband services and DSL connections to 14 million at the end of the year.

During the year, AT&T, run by John Stankey, earned more than $14 billion in free cash flow, which investors have been concerned about. In addition, it reduced its net debt by $24 billion while accomplishing more than $5 billion of the desired $6 billion run-rate cost reductions by the end of the year.

AT&T said it anticipates cellular service revenue growth of 4% and internet revenue growth of 5% or higher in 2023. Still, adjusted profits are predicted to come in lower than expected. This outlook is about the company’s outlook for 2023. AT&T forecasts it will earn between $2.35 and $2.45 per share, excluding one-time items. This significantly decreased from the $2.56 per share analysts anticipated the company would earn.

On Tuesday, Verizon, a rival, also offered a pessimistic estimate for 2023.

Recently, Wells Fargo upgraded Dallas-based telco AT&T stock, naming it its top cellular selection for 2023.

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About the author: I'm a financial journalist with more than 3 years of experience. I have worked for different financial companies and covered stocks listed on ASX, NYSE, NASDAQ, etc. I have a degree in marketing from Bahria University Islamabad Campus (BUIC), Pakistan.