AT&T Inc announced first-quarter results on Wednesday with less-than-expected revenue as it came on losing subscribers in almost all of its core segments except wireless business that was supported by price promotions with company heavily spending on it to expand customers.
Including customers for its U-verse television and DirecTV satellite, AT&T in the first quarter lost a net of 544,000 premium TV subscribers while analysts were expecting the company to be losing 385,000 customers for the same in reported quarter, according to research firm FactSet.
Pay-TV providers are losing more of their customers to digital streaming services like Netflix with more services to come or already in the playing field and for the reason AT&T also launched its own streaming service but that also remained losing customers in the quarter.
AT&T’s total revenue for the quarter though saw a rise of 18 percent and has reached to $44.83 billion but remained below the expectations of $45.11 billion.
Revenue of $8.38 billion in the quarter ended March 31 by company’s WarnerMedia unit, including Turner and premium TV channel HBO, fell short of analyst estimates of $8.45 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
For the quarter, analysts were expecting AT&T to be losing 44,000 subscribers, but company came on adding a net 80,000 phone subscribers by launching samrtphone promotions to get more of its share from U.S. market which is already touching saturation level.
Mobility is the largest segment of the company which includes AT&T’s wireless business, and in the first quarter that segment reported revenue of $17.57 billion which also missed the analysts’ estimates of $17.65 billion, hurt by those smartphone promotions.
AT&T’s Entertainment segment, including DirecTV, saw a decline of 1 percent while posting revenue of $11.33 billion in the quarter as the Entertainment unit is under continuous decline.