Dallas-based AT&T Inc. has reported solid Q4 2013 earnings of $0.53 per share on $33.2 billion in revenue. It also said it added 566,000 postpaid wireless subscribers during the fourth quarter. AT&T’s earnings growth for the final three months of the year was driven by continued gains within a few key divisions: mobile and IP Data, U-verse, and strategic business services.
CEO Randall Stephenson said during the company’s earnings call Tuesday afternoon that AT&T’s revenue and earnings-per-share growth finished strong in 2013, and that cash generation had been strengthened by both operations and monetization of the company’s non-strategic assets. He reported that AT&T invested $25 billion in capital expenditures and spectrum, and that it returned an additional $23 billion to shareholders through dividend and share buyback programs.
“We ended the year with really high-quality credit metrics and our pension plan funding is in great shape,” Stephenson said. “2013 was our first year for Project VIP and we are well ahead of schedule … LTE deployment, U-verse expansion, and fiber to the business, I would tell you, was a home run—a home run year by our Network Operations Group.” Regarding LTE expansion, Stephenson says AT&T is already closing in on its 2014 goal of building a network of 300 million users.
Stephenson noted that AT&T’s mobile data is now a $23 billion revenue stream that’s growing at 17 percent. AT&T’s U-verse platform, which was rolled out in 2006, accounts for more than $13 billion of annualized revenue and is growing at a 28 percent clip. He has high hopes for the company’s mobile business solutions, which he says will be strengthened by new, no-contract wireless plans and AT&T’s $1.2-billion acquisition of Leap Wireless International, which Stephenson expects to close during Q1 2014.