AT&T Tops Q4 Earnings Forecast as Time Warner Acquisition Must Wait

Randall Stephenson looks forward to his day in (merger) court

AT&T closed 2017 with a strong final quarter, topping Wall Street’s Q4 earnings and revenue expectations. The company reported its latest financial results on Wednesday afternoon while it continues to wait out the DOJ’s Time Warner roadblock.

Media analysts had forecast Q4 earnings per share (EPS) for AT&T of 65 cents on $41.19 billion in revenue, per a Yahoo Finance consensus. For the recent 90-day period, the company actually earned 78 cents per share on $41.7 billion in revenue.

That revenue was slightly down from last year’s comparable quarter, mostly due to declines in legacy wireline services, wireless service revenues and domestic video. Those drops were mostly offset by growth in wireless equipment and AT&T’s International segment.

Lower operating expenses helped AT&T profit grow 12 cents per share on an adjusted basis.

“The impact of tax reform and regulatory rationalization will be substantial and positive for the U.S. economy and AT&T,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “Our FirstNet win and the opt-in by 100 percent of all states and territories will enable us to put the industry’s most robust spectrum assets to work in building a best-in-class nationwide network for public safety and first responders. On the Time Warner front, we look forward to presenting our case in court and closing the deal.”

Stephenson & Co. (and the United States Department of Justice) will get their day in court on March 19.

AT&T stock (Symbol: T) closed Wednesday at up a penny versus the prior day. The stock soared after hours on the strength of the aforementioned financial results.

Company executives will host a conference call at 4:30 p.m. ET today to discuss the quarter and year in greater detail.