AT&T Shares Inch Up After Company's Earnings Beat

By Claudia Assis Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of AT&T Inc. edged higher late Wednesday after the telecommunications company reported fourth-quarter earnings in line with expectations and sales slightly below forecasts. AT&T said it earned $2.4 billion, or 39 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with 65 cents in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, the telecom reported earnings of 66 cents a share, compared with 63 cents a share a year ago. Revenue reached $41.8 billion in the quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the telecom to report adjusted earnings of 66 cents a share on sales of $42 billion. The company said it added 2.8 million net wireless accounts in the quarter, and 9.5 million in 2016, and its streaming service DirectTV Now showed "strong" growth. "And we shook-up the industry with our landscape-changing deal to acquire Time Warner, the logical next step in our strategy to bring together world-class content with best-in-class distribution which will drive innovation and more choice for consumers," Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, said in a statement. Shares of AT&T had ended the regular session up 0.1%.

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