AT&T's warm 3Q results

In reporting its third quarter results, AT&T met analyst expectations as it boasted of strong wireless performance and gains for both U-Verse IPTV and wireline IP revenues. Wholesale revenues were also good, driven by "solid demand" from wireless carriers, ISPs and other customers. 

The company reported $0.55 per diluted share, up a nickel from the same quarter in 2007, and adjusted earnings of $0.67 pre-diluted shares, including $0.10 of "pressure" generated by Apple iPhone 3G madness and $0.02 from hurricane-related expenses; this is compared to $0.71 in 3Q2007.

Wireless was the big story for AT&T, with 2.4 million iPhone 3Gs activated in the quarter and 40 percent of them to new AT&T wireless customers. Mr. iPhone 3G is delivering high-value subs with "significantly higher" ARPU and lower churn than postpaid subscriber average. When the smoke clears, there's a 2 million net gain in total wireless subs to reach 74.9 million. Also, put on the score sheet 50.5 percent growth in wireless data revenues (thank you once again Mr. Jobs) from Internet access, messaging, email and related services. Total wireless revenues were up more than 15 percent.

However, wireless wasn't the only good-news story. The company reported a strong increase in AT&T U-verse TV subscribers, with a net gain of 232,000 to reach 781,000 in service.  The company says it is "solidly on track" to exceed 1 million subscribers by the end of 2008.

Related to the U-verse story, there's a 16.2 percent increase in wireline IP data revenues both thanks to U-verse and growth in business products including VPNs, managed Internet services and hosting.  Consumer IP data revenues, including broadband and U-verse services, grew 19 percent and IP data revenues were up 14.7 percent.

IP data now accounts for 44 percent of AT&T's total wireline data revenues.

For more:
- AT&T reports its third quarter financials. Release.

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