More Videos:

AT&T Narrows Loss as Smartphones Fly Out the Door

Tickers in this article: AAPL T VZ

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AT&T(T) narrowed its loss in the fourth quarter as Apple's(AAPL) iPhone helping generate record smartphone sales.

The telecom company posted a loss of 68 cents a share on a net loss of $3.9 billion, compared with a loss of $1.12 a share on a net loss of $6.7 billion a year earlier.

Excluding the effect of charges related to benefit plans, its divested Advertising Solutions business and Hurricane Sandy, AT&T earned 44 cents a share, up from 40 cents a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Yahoo! Finance were looking for earnings of 46 cents a share.

During the fourth quarter, AT&T brought in revenue of $32.6 billion, an increase of 0.2% and above analysts' forecast of $32.22 billion.

AT&T shares rose 0.4% to $33.9 in extended trading.

Excluding revenue from Advertising Solutions and the impact from the hurricane in November, revenue increased 2.8%.

"We had an excellent 2012," said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, in a statement released after the market close. "We grew revenues, increased adjusted earnings per share by 8.5% 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."

The company's total wireless revenue, which includes equipment sales, rose 5.7% to $17.6 billion. AT&T added 1.1 million wireless subscribers during the quarter, bringing the total to 107 million. This included 780,000 postpaid net adds, AT&T's biggest gain in 12 quarters.

The Dallas firm sold a record 10.2 million smartphones and activated a record 8.6 million iPhones. AT&T also had its best-ever sales quarter for Android phones, but confirmed that record smartphone sales hurt margins. Fourth-quarter wireless operating income margin was 14.5% compared with 15.5% a year earlier.

AT&T's fourth-quarter wireline revenue was $14.9 billion, down 0.5% from a year earlier but up 0.7% sequentially.

In 2013, AT&T expects revenue growth to exceed 2% and to deliver earnings per share growth in the upper-single digits or higher.

Rival Verizon(VZ) reported a wider fourth-quarter loss earlier this week, weighed down by pension and restructuring charges.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

Usage of this site is governed by TheStreet's Terms of Use available here. Information collected on this site may be collected by TheStreet and OC Register. TheStreet's use of information collected on this site will be governed by TheStreet's privacy policy available here. OC Register's use of information collected on this site will be governed by OC Register's privacy policy available here. If either TheStreet's or OC Register's privacy policy have provisions that are more restrictive than the provisions of the other party's privacy policy, such more restrictive provisions shall not apply to such other party.

Copyright © 2012 Orange County Register Communications. All Rights Reserved.
Site Help | Site Map