T Stock: AT&T 2024 Earnings Guidance Missed as Q4 Wireless Subscriber Adds Top Views

AT&T (T) early Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates while beating revenue. T stock fell as AT&T's 2024 earnings outlook fell.


Announced before the market open, AT&T's earnings for the December quarter fell 11% to 54 cents on an adjusted basis. Revenue from continuing operations increased 2.2% to $32 billion.

Analysts had expected AT&T earnings of 56 cents per share on revenue of $31.5 billion, according to FactSet. A year ago, AT&T earned 61 cents per share on revenue of $31.3.

AT&T Stock: Free Cash Flow Tops Views

AT&T reported fourth-quarter free cash flow of $6.4 billion versus estimates of $6.07 billion. Free cash flow growth supports AT&T's dividend.

Wireless subscriber additions came in above estimates. During the quarter, the company said it added 526,000 postpaid wireless phone customers, down from 656,000 customers in the same period of the previous year.

According to FactSet, analysts estimated an increase of 494,000 postpaid phone subscribers — the customers with the highest monthly bills.

Verizon Communications (VZ) on Tuesday reported better-than-expected growth in the number of wireless service subscribers.

T Stock: 2024 Guidelines

In 2024, AT&T expects adjusted EPS in a range of $2.15 to $2.25 versus the consensus estimate of $2.46. AT&T said its earnings forecast includes 17 cents in higher income and 7 cents in lower other income due to a decrease in non-cash prior service credit amortization included in pension costs and postretirement benefits, 5 cents in lower capitalized interest and 3 cents in lower adjusted stock income. .

MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett is cautious about AT&T's 2024 outlook.

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“In their commentary, management spoke reassuringly about their expectations for a stable competitive environment, supported by what they expect to be a strong fourth quarter for all the Big Three (wireless companies),” Moffitt said. “Maybe so, but we remain concerned that overall industry expectations enter 2024 at an unattainable level – consensus suggests approximately 7.5 million postpaid phone network additions in an industry that is unlikely to deliver more than 6 million or “So like that.”

On the stock market today, T stock fell nearly 3% to close at 16.68. The telecom stock is up 2.4% so far in 2024. T stock is down 9% in 2023.

Heading into AT&T's earnings report, the stock has a relative strength rating of just 53 out of a top 99, according to IBD inventory check.

Follow Reinhart Krauss on X, formerly known as Twitter, @reinhardtk_tech For updates on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and cloud computing.

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