New York, NY, United States (4E) – AT&T Inc. said profit in the third quarter topped estimates after the second-biggest wireless carrier in the U.S. added more subscribers and its smartphone data plans generated higher revenue.
The growth was boosted by the company’s fourth-generation LTE wireless network and its U-verse fiber-optic system, according to Chief Executive Randall Stephenson.
About 363,000 contract wireless customers were added during the quarter, AT&T said, compared with 151,000 in the previous year. The median estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 342,000 gain.
Net income in the third quarter jumped 4.9 percent to $3.81bn, or 72 cents per share, compared with $3.64bn, or 63 cents per share, a year ago, according to the company statement. Earnings rose to 66 cents per share, excluding some items.
Analysts predicted per-share earnings at 65 cents per share, according to Bloomberg data. Sales climbed 2.2 percent to $32.2bn, matching the average estimate.
The Dallas-based AT&T is also expected to complete a deal to acquire prepaid carrier Leap Wireless for $1.2bn and $2.8bn in net debt. Leap cancelled a shareholder vote on the acquisition Wednesday, delaying it by a week to correct errors in previous financial statements.