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AT&T reports solid Q2 growth
Posted: 23-Jul-2008 [Source: AT&T]

[AT&T reports strong Q2 wireless growth including 52% increase in data services revenues versus Q2 last year.]

Dallas -- AT&T Inc. today reported solid second-quarter results highlighted by strong wireless growth, double-digit gains in revenues from IP-based data services and further expansion of consolidated margins.

Wireless Operational Highlights

AT&T delivered strong wireless growth in the second quarter with solid subscriber gains, continued rapid growth in wireless data revenues and improved margins. Highlights include the following:

* 15.8 Percent Wireless Revenue Growth. Total wireless revenues increased 15.8 percent to $12.0 billion in the second quarter, and wireless service revenues, which exclude handset and accessory sales, grew 14.8 percent to $11.0 billion. Wireless revenue growth was driven by solid subscriber gains and a greater number of customers choosing more advanced smartphones and integrated devices, spurring increased usage of data services. Retail postpaid subscriber ARPU (average monthly revenues per subscriber) was up 3.5 percent versus the year-earlier second quarter.

* Wireless Data Services Up 52.0 Percent. Wireless data revenues grew 52.0 percent versus the year-earlier quarter to $2.5 billion, reflecting continued strong adoption of services such as Internet and data access, e-mail and messaging. Wireless Internet access revenues more than doubled versus results for the year-earlier second quarter, while revenues from e-mail, messaging and data access all delivered greater than 50 percent growth. Text messaging volumes tripled versus totals for the year-earlier quarter, and multimedia message volumes increased more than 170 percent. At the end of the second quarter, approximately 18 percent of AT&T's postpaid wireless subscribers had an integrated device, up from 8 percent one year earlier. On average, these subscribers have ARPUs roughly double the company average. AT&T expects continued strong growth in wireless data services as more customers choose data plans and advanced wireless devices such as the new iPhone 3G, which was launched as an AT&T U.S. exclusive on July 11. In the first 12 days following launch, sales of the iPhone 3G were nearly double levels achieved in AT&T's 2007 iPhone launch.

* Solid Wireless Subscriber Growth with Reduced Postpaid Churn. AT&T's second-quarter net gain in total wireless subscribers exceeded 1.3 million, down 123,000 versus results in the second quarter of 2007 and up 38,000 compared with the first quarter of this year. Retail postpaid net adds totaled 894,000, down 2.0 percent versus the year-earlier second quarter and up 26.8 percent from results in the first quarter of this year. This sequential postpaid improvement was achieved despite reduced iPhone sales ahead of the early July iPhone 3G launch. Retail postpaid churn moved down to 1.1 percent in the second quarter, the lowest level in the company's history.

* Wireless Operating Income Growth. On a reported basis, AT&T's second-quarter wireless operating expenses totaled $9.0 billion, and operating income was $3.1 billion, up 91.0 percent from $1.6 billion in the second quarter of 2007. Adjusting for merger integration costs, wireless operating expenses totaled $8.4 billion, and operating income was $3.6 billion, up 38.9 percent from $2.6 billion in the second quarter of 2007.

* Continued Strength in Wireless Margins. Strong revenue growth, network efficiencies and operational improvements continue to drive strong wireless margins. AT&T's reported wireless operating income margin in the second quarter was 25.5 percent, up from 15.4 percent in the year-earlier quarter, and its adjusted wireless operating income margin was 29.9 percent, up from 24.9 percent in the year-earlier quarter. AT&T's second-quarter wireless OIBDA service margin was 41.2 percent, up from an unadjusted 35.8 percent and an adjusted 37.5 percent in the year-earlier quarter. (OIBDA service margin is operating income before depreciation and amortization, divided by total service revenues.)

"Our results demonstrate the great strength of AT&T's assets and our ability to execute with focus and discipline," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer. "Earnings growth continues to be solid, our wireless momentum is strong, our major growth and cost-reduction initiatives are on track, and we continue to return substantial value to shareowners.

"As we generate sound financial results, AT&T also has taken the lead to innovate and create great solutions for customers," Stephenson said. "Mobility, broadband connectivity and integrated services that encompass voice, data and video are driving a new world of communications. AT&T is all about deploying and enhancing premier networks and products to deliver this world to both business and consumers.

"The Apple iPhone 3G is a dramatic example of this transformation," Stephenson added. "In the days following our exclusive U.S. launch of this new device, powered by the nation's fastest 3G wireless network, customer response has been everything we had anticipated and more. This strengthens our wireless business, and it reinforces our positive view of the opportunities ahead for AT&T and the industry."

Reported Results

For the quarter ended June 30, 2008, AT&T's consolidated revenues totaled $30.9 billion, up 4.7 percent versus reported results in the year-earlier quarter and up 3.6 percent compared with second-quarter 2007 pro forma revenues, which exclude merger-related accounting impacts on directory revenues.

Compared with results for the year-earlier quarter, AT&T's reported operating expenses for the second quarter of 2008 were $24.3 billion, down from $24.5 billion; reported operating income was $6.6 billion, up from $4.9 billion; and AT&T's reported operating income margin was 21.3 percent, up from 16.8 percent.

AT&T's reported second-quarter 2008 net income totaled $3.8 billion, up from $2.9 billion in the year-earlier quarter, and reported earnings per diluted share totaled $0.63, up from $0.47 in the second quarter of 2007.

Adjusted Results

AT&T's adjusted results for the second quarter of 2008 exclude noncash merger-related amortization expenses. For the second quarter of 2007, adjusted results excluded merger integration costs, merger-related amortization expenses and a merger-related directory accounting effect.

Compared with results for the year-earlier quarter, AT&T's adjusted operating expenses for the second quarter of 2008 totaled $23.1 billion, versus $22.7 billion; adjusted operating income was $7.7 billion, up from $7.1 billion; and AT&T's adjusted operating income margin was 25.1 percent, up from 23.9 percent. This margin expansion reflects revenue growth along with benefits from merger synergies and other productivity initiatives.

AT&T's adjusted second-quarter 2008 net income totaled $4.5 billion, up from $4.3 billion in the year-earlier quarter, and adjusted earnings per diluted share totaled $0.76, up from $0.70 in the second quarter of 2007.

Cash From Operations, Share Repurchases AT&T's cash from operating activities for the second quarter of 2008 totaled $8.5 billion, capital expenditures totaled $5.3 billion, and free cash flow (cash from operations minus capital expenditures) totaled $3.2 billion. Year to date through the first half of 2008, cash from operating activities totaled $13.5 billion, capital expenditures totaled $9.6 billion, and free cash flow totaled $3.9 billion.

As it invests in the future of its business, AT&T continues to return substantial value to shareowners through dividends and share repurchases. Dividends paid totaled $2.4 billion in the second quarter and $4.8 billion year to date. Shares repurchased totaled 52.6 million for $2.0 billion in the second quarter and 164.2 million for $6.1 billion through the first half of the year. AT&T ended the second quarter with 5.9 billion shares outstanding.

Wireless Operational Highlights

AT&T delivered strong wireless growth in the second quarter with solid subscriber gains, continued rapid growth in wireless data revenues and improved margins. Highlights include the following:

* 15.8 Percent Wireless Revenue Growth. Total wireless revenues increased 15.8 percent to $12.0 billion in the second quarter, and wireless service revenues, which exclude handset and accessory sales, grew 14.8 percent to $11.0 billion. Wireless revenue growth was driven by solid subscriber gains and a greater number of customers choosing more advanced smartphones and integrated devices, spurring increased usage of data services. Retail postpaid subscriber ARPU (average monthly revenues per subscriber) was up 3.5 percent versus the year-earlier second quarter.

* Wireless Data Services Up 52.0 Percent. Wireless data revenues grew 52.0 percent versus the year-earlier quarter to $2.5 billion, reflecting continued strong adoption of services such as Internet and data access, e-mail and messaging. Wireless Internet access revenues more than doubled versus results for the year-earlier second quarter, while revenues from e-mail, messaging and data access all delivered greater than 50 percent growth. Text messaging volumes tripled versus totals for the year-earlier quarter, and multimedia message volumes increased more than 170 percent. At the end of the second quarter, approximately 18 percent of AT&T's postpaid wireless subscribers had an integrated device, up from 8 percent one year earlier. On average, these subscribers have ARPUs roughly double the company average. AT&T expects continued strong growth in wireless data services as more customers choose data plans and advanced wireless devices such as the new iPhone 3G, which was launched as an AT&T U.S. exclusive on July 11. In the first 12 days following launch, sales of the iPhone 3G were nearly double levels achieved in AT&T's 2007 iPhone launch.

* Solid Wireless Subscriber Growth with Reduced Postpaid Churn. AT&T's second-quarter net gain in total wireless subscribers exceeded 1.3 million, down 123,000 versus results in the second quarter of 2007 and up 38,000 compared with the first quarter of this year. Retail postpaid net adds totaled 894,000, down 2.0 percent versus the year-earlier second quarter and up 26.8 percent from results in the first quarter of this year. This sequential postpaid improvement was achieved despite reduced iPhone sales ahead of the early July iPhone 3G launch. Retail postpaid churn moved down to 1.1 percent in the second quarter, the lowest level in the company's history.

* Wireless Operating Income Growth. On a reported basis, AT&T's second-quarter wireless operating expenses totaled $9.0 billion, and operating income was $3.1 billion, up 91.0 percent from $1.6 billion in the second quarter of 2007. Adjusting for merger integration costs, wireless operating expenses totaled $8.4 billion, and operating income was $3.6 billion, up 38.9 percent from $2.6 billion in the second quarter of 2007.

* Continued Strength in Wireless Margins. Strong revenue growth, network efficiencies and operational improvements continue to drive strong wireless margins. AT&T's reported wireless operating income margin in the second quarter was 25.5 percent, up from 15.4 percent in the year-earlier quarter, and its adjusted wireless operating income margin was 29.9 percent, up from 24.9 percent in the year-earlier quarter. AT&T's second-quarter wireless OIBDA service margin was 41.2 percent, up from an unadjusted 35.8 percent and an adjusted 37.5 percent in the year-earlier quarter. (OIBDA service margin is operating income before depreciation and amortization, divided by total service revenues.)

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