AT&T has been under increased pressure from rival T-Mobile in recent months and judging by their just-released fourth quarter earnings, the company certainly answered the bell. Several key categories saw improvement during the three month period despite the fact that the market is nearing saturation.
The wireless provider posted net revenue of $33.2 billion during the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of 1.8 percent but just under the $33.1 billion projected by analysts. Profit came in at $6.9 billion during the period ($1.31 per share), up from a $3.9 billion loss in the year-ago period.
AT&T added 566,000 postpaid subscribers during the quarter and 440,000 net tablet customers while losing 32,000 prepaid customers, resulting in a total of 110 million subscribers in the books. The company revealed that smartphones now account for 93 percent of their postpaid sales.
Part of that growth has to do with rolling out new features like Next, the company’s early upgrade plan. AT&T said a million people have signed up for the program which accounted for 15 percent of postpaid upgrades during the period. And with a new plan on the table to pay T-Mobile customers to switch to their network, things are looking promising as we dive deeper into 2014.
Elsewhere, the nation’s second largest wireless provider added 630,000 Internet subscribers and 194,000 television customers. Additionally, AT&T added 78,000 U-Verse business customers.
CEO Randall Stephenson said there is no doubt that competition will remain strong in the market but they will continue to modify their value proposition accordingly.