News Brief

AT&T Profit Falls, Wireless Business Grows

AT&T reported a 24% profit decline for the fourth quarter as its traditional landline business continued to dwindle. Net income fell to $2.4 billion, or 41 cents a share--from $3.1 billion, or 51 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue increased 2.4% to $31.1 billion.

AT&T's mobile businesses remained a bright spot, with profit growing 39% on a 13% gain in revenue. Total subscribers increased by 2.1 million, including 1.3 million long-term contract customers. The iPhone 3G remained a strong draw for AT&T as 1.9 million subscribers adopted the device, 40% of whom were new customers. That compares to 2.4 million iPhone activations in the third quarter.

Revenue from mobile data services such as text messaging and Web access grew 51% from a year ago, to $3.1 billion. Mobile data made up almost 27% of AT&T's wireless service service revenue compared to 20% a year ago.

Meanwhile, profit in the telecom giant's shrinking wireline business fell 19%, and revenue dropped 3.3%. AT&T was overtaken as the nation's largest wireless carrier earlier this month when Verizon Communications closed its acquisition of Alltel Corp.--Mark Walsh

Tags: mobile, online
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