December 8, 2023

An attendee talks on the phone next to AT&T Inc.’s booth during the second day of Mobile World Congress at the Fira de Barcelona venue in Barcelona, ​​Spain, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023.

Angel Garcia | Bloomberg | Getty Images

AT&T Shares fell on Thursday after the telecom giant reported first-quarter results showing subscriber growth but revenue decline.

The company added 424,000 postpaid phone plans, which represent the number of businesses and individual consumers who pay their bills at the end of each month.

That was in line with Wall Street expectations, but down from AT&T’s previous numbers, especially early in the pandemic.inside last yearAT&T added 691,000 postpaid phone customers.

Investors are looking to postpaid phone numbers to gauge the overall health of wireless companies’ profit centers. Analysts have been looking for indicators of a slowdown as the early days of the pandemic sharpened focus on the importance of reliable cellphone connections.

company period Previous Earnings CallsAT&T executives said they expect growth in the wireless industry to return to “normal” levels this year.

Here’s how AT&T performed in the first quarter compared to Wall Street expectations, according to the average analyst estimate compiled by Refinitiv:

  • EPS: Adjusted 60 cents vs. 59 cents expected
  • income: $30.14 billion vs. $30.27 billion expected

AT&T reported net income of $4.18 billion, or 57 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared with $4.76 billion, or 65 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of 60 cents for the period. The company’s quarterly revenue rose 1.4% year over year to $30.14 billion.

The airline’s operations generated $1 billion in free cash flow, missing analysts’ estimates.

On Thursday’s earnings call, AT&T executives said the drop was “in line with (its) expectations” due to the timing of capital investment and equipment payments. Executives said the company “remains confident” it will meet its forecast of generating about $16 billion in free cash flow this year.

After selling DirecTV in 2021, AT&T is increasingly focused on growing its wireless and home Internet service.

“We believe our results show that the customer-centric strategy we launched nearly three years ago continues to deliver the right mix of premium subscribers and profitable growth that will prove sustainable over the long-term,” said Chief Executive Officer John Stankey said on the company’s earnings call.

Competitors Verizon and T-Mobile will report results next week.