AT&T Posts Narrower Q4 Loss

AT&T on Thursday reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss, with pension-related expenses and costs related to Superstorm Sandy holding down earnings in the year-end period.

The telecom giant posted a loss of $3.9 billion, or 68 cents a share, compared to a loss of $6.7 billion, or $1.12 a share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, AT&T had earnings of 44 cents per share.

Revenue rose 0.2% to $32.6 billion in the quarter. Analysts, on average, had forecast a profit of 45 cents per share on revenue of $32. 2 billion.

AT&T said it sold a record 10.2 million smartphones during the quarter, including 8.6 million iPhones. Verizon earlier this week reported selling 9.8 million smartphones, including 6.2 million iPhones.

AT&T added 780,000 contract subscribers, and a total of 1.1 million for the quarter. The total wireless business contributed $17.6 billion in revenue, up 5.7% from a year ago.

The company’s wireline business, by contrast, fell 0.5% to $14.9 billion. AT&T added 192,000 U-verse TV subscribers and 609,000 high-speed Internet subscribers to reach 8 million total U-verse customers.

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