Chart of The Week: AT&T Enters New Era with 5G Growth
April 22, 2022
It was a big week for AT&T Inc (NYSE: T) as the company reported its first financial results since the 8 April closing of its WarnerMedia spin-off into Warner Bros Discovery Inc (NASDAQ: WBD).
All eyes were on the mobility and broadband business to gauge the outlook for AT&T and the numbers were impressive.
For the first quarter of 2022 (1Q FY2022), AT&T earned 77 US cents a share on US$38.1 billion in revenue. This easily beats analysts’ average estimates of 71 US cents a share.
When we look at the continuing operations alone, the company posted an increase of 2.5% in its net income to 65 cents a share on the back of US$29.7 billion of revenue.
Strong mobile growth
AT&T’s wireless revenue grew 5.5% to US$20.1 billion as it added 691,000 subscribers, its highest in a decade.
Operating income for the business segment, however, was down by 3.2% to US$5.9 billion, mainly due to increases in expenses of 9.5% as the company shut down its 3G network, incurred higher equipment costs and higher spending on the bundling of HBO Max and other expenses.
As some of these expenses are not recurring, this should help AT&T benefit from the recurring revenue going forward with higher numbers of subscribers.
On the wired line, AT&T’s Fibre also added a net 289,000 subscribers with penetration up about 2 percentage points to 37%.
In a statement, AT&T’s CEO, John Stankey, said that AT&T “has entered a new era” with the growth of its 5G and fibre internet customer base as well as its enhanced customer service.
The simpler story of AT&T following the spin-off of its media arm will also attract more institutional investors.
Investors, however, should take note that downside risks remain as investment into 5G networks and the shutdown of its 3G network could lead to higher expenditure.
I think it is too early to call AT&T a good buy but the shift towards a 5G network will definitely boost its revenue in the near term.
As a result, investors should definitely keep AT&T on their watchlist as we see how management executes some of their initiatives going forward.
Billy is passionate about the capital market and believes in investing for the long haul. Prior to this, he was an economist at RHB Investment Bank, covering Thailand and Philippines market. He also worked as a financial journalist at The Edge Malaysia and has experience working with an asset management firm. Aside from the capital market, Billy loves a good conversation over a cup of coffee, is a fitness enthusiast and a tech geek.