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AT&T reports 8.6 million iPhones sold in 4Q, $6B loss

updated 05:23 pm EST, Thu January 24, 2013

Company claims 55 percent of user base using 4G phones

Adding to the rash of major company quarterly results, AT&T has posted its own numbers. For the quarter that concluded on December 31, the company's revenues totaled $32.6 billion, up 0.2 percent versus the same time period in 2011, but posted a $6 billion loss regardless of earnings. Fourth-quarter 2012 cash from operating activities grew to $10.5 billion, and capital expenditures totaled $5.9 billion.

AT&T reported a 5.7 percent growth in wireless revenue, with $17.6 billion. Data revenues driven by mobile Internet usage increased by 14.7 percent from the same quarter in 2011 to $6.8 billion, with AT&T claiming that the new family sharing plans it implemented slowed growth somewhat, with 6.6 million subscribers on such a plan.

A record of 10.2 million smartphones were sold by the company in the fourth quarter, with the company claiming that 55 percent of the company's postpaid smartphone customers using a 4G-capable device. The company activated a record 8.6 million iPhones, with 16 percent of these users new to AT&T.

Factors affecting AT&Ts bottom line were the repair activity required after Hurricane Sandy, the large volume of smartphone sales which are heavily subsidized, and the previously-announced one-time charge to offset pension plan investment losses.

"We had an excellent 2012," AT&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said of the results. "We grew revenues, increased adjusted earnings per share by 8.5 percent and generated cash from operations at record levels. We used this cash to invest aggressively in the future of our business and returned $23 billion to shareowners through dividends and share repurchases."

By Electronista Staff
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  1. gradient

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 08-20-05

    I obviously don't understand big business well does a company hand out $23B in dividends and share repurchases when it will the net result will be a loss of more or less that exact amount (just extrapolating that $6B loss across four quarters; don't know what the actual yearly number was but the principle remains the same)? Shouldn't their goal be to operate in the black and build from there? I get that shareholders will likely always vote for whatever puts more cash in their pockets but still, it seems like an unsustainable model.

    Can anyone who knows more about this than I do explain it to me?

  1. snork

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-18-08

    Gradient...if you just read the article your logic would be mostly correct. How is a $6B quarterly loss result in a "good" end to 2012? Well the first 3 quarters all had net income of about $3.4B-3.9B each. So for the year they are still ahead. Also the quarterly report states they are taking a one time write down of $10B to fund their employee pension account (which is a responsible thing to do). So if you take that away, they would have had a net income of about $4B which is slightly above average for the year and would have shown more growth.

    Better question, if they're making all these BILLIONS of dollars...why are they capping our services and rolling out LTE so dang slowly!:brick:

  1. gradient

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 08-20-05

    Huh, I did read the article but it didn't note the numbers from the other three quarters so...I see I guess.

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