AT&T CEO:Time Warner deal on track for year-end close

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(Reuters)

Despite President Trump's disdain for Time Warner's (TWX) cable network CNN, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson (T) remains confident the $85 billion deal will get done.

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"We continue to expect the Time Warner deal to close by year-end and further transform the companyā€¯ said Stephenson in the company's latest earnings statement released late Tuesday. 

While President Trump has been critical of several media organizations, claiming many report "Fake News", CNN has been a frequent lightening rod. Earlier this month in a Twitter post featured the President body slamming CNN with the #FraudNewsCNN.

His public criticisms have raised speculation that he could influence the deal's fate among regulators as detailed in a recent Vanity Fair article. 

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Stephenson's comments came as the telecom giant reported second-quarter profit of $3.92 billion.  The Dallas-based company said it had profit of 63 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 79 cents per share.

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The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 20 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 74 cents per share.

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The telecommunications company posted revenue of $39.84 billion in the period, also exceeding Street forecasts. Nineteen analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $39.8 billion.

AT&T shares have decreased 15 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has increased 11 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $36.20, a decline of 16 percent in the last 12 months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on T at https://www.zacks.com/ap/T