AT&T posts loss but subscriber growth beats analyst estimates

AT&T Inc posted a quarterly loss as it shouldered charges related to its pension and superstorm Sandy but it added more subscribers than several analysts had expected.

The No. 2 U.S. mobile service provider said it added 780,000 subscribers in the quarter compared with the average expectation for 699,200 from 10 analysts. Most estimates were 700,000 or higher but the lowest was 475,000.

AT&T's fourth quarter loss was $3.86 billion or 68 cents per share, compared with a loss of $6.68 billion or $1.12 per share in the year-ago quarter when it took big charges including the break-up fee for its failed purchase of T-Mobile USA, a Deutsche Telekom unit.

Revenue rose to $32.58 billion from $32.5 billion and compared with Wall Street expectations for $32.2 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting By Sinead Carew; Editing by Bernard Orr)