AT&T’s consolidated revenues for the first quarter of 2020 fell 4.5% year-on-year to USD42.8 billion from USD44.8 billion as growth in US wireless service revenues and strategic/managed business services only partially offset declines in revenues from media/entertainment arm WarnerMedia, domestic video, legacy wireline services, domestic wireless equipment and Latin American/Caribbean pay-TV division Vrio. Consolidated operating income rose 4.1% to USD7.5 billion in January-March 2020 versus USD7.2 billion in the year-ago quarter, with operating expense reductions outpacing revenue declines. First-quarter net income attributable to common stock was USD4.6 billion, an improvement on USD4.1 billion in the same period of 2019, and the company noted that it did not adjust for COVID-19-related costs in the quarter, with the majority of such costs ‘expected to have only short-term impacts’.
AT&T’s mobile service revenues climbed 2.5% to USD14.0 billion in 1Q20, and mobile EBITDA rose 7.0% to USD7.8 billion in the period. AT&T also highlighted an improvement in post-paid mobile churn to 0.86% in 1Q20 compared to 0.92% a year earlier, while it reported 163,000 post-paid phone net adds in three months. Total ‘wireless subscribers and connections’ (including post-paid, pre-paid, ‘reseller’ and ‘connected devices’) reached 169.198 million at 31 March 2020, up from 154.670 million twelve months before. 209,000 quarterly AT&T fibre internet additions took its fibre subscriber total to 4.096 million, up from 3.060 million a year earlier. Total fixed broadband connections (including ‘IP non-fibre’ and DSL) dropped to 14.046 million, from 14.454 million in March 2019.
AT&T yesterday (22 April 2020) announced the launch of 5G mobile network services in 90 additional markets, including Chicago, New Orleans, Sacramento, Seattle and Tampa, taking its low-band 5G coverage to a total of 190 markets, covering 120 million people across the US, or roughly 36% of the population. The carrier is now promising to expand 5G ‘nationwide’ in ‘summer 2020’ – altering its earlier target statements which said ‘mid-2020’, as obstacles related to the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to slow developments.
Furthermore, due to uncertainty over COVID-19, AT&T has withdrawn financial guidance for the year until further notice.