AT&T wireline results in Q1 reflect strong returns on consumer broadband, IP business services

AT&T's (NYSE: T) remedy to ongoing landline losses with IP broadband and business services continued to pay off in the first quarter of 2011 with earnings of $3.4 billion, or 57 cents a share, meeting Wall Street's expectations.  

Revenues, meanwhile, rose 2.3 percent to $31.25 billion. Analysts forecasted $31.26 billion for the quarter.

From a wireline standpoint, AT&T earnings fell slightly in Q1. During the quarter it reported $1.7 billion in consolidated wireline revenues, down slightly from the $1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2010 and $2.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Here's a breakdown of the other AT&T wireline segment metrics:

  • Consumer wireline services: Inside the consumer segment, the key drivers of AT&T's wireline growth were broadband and U-verse IPTV products. During the quarter, AT&T added 175,000 new broadband subscribers and 218,000 U-verse subscribers to reach 3.2 million in service. However, the broadband numbers fell short of analyst expectations of 195,000 new subscribers.
  • Landline loss: Despite the slight wireline segment revenue loss, one that AT&T attributes to falling voice revenues, wireline subscriber revenues totaled $5.3 billion in Q1, up 0.5 percent year over year. At the end of Q1, AT&T's traditional landline voice subscriptions fell to 43.1 million from 45 million at the end of the first quarter of 2010 and 43.4 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010.
  • Business services: On the business services side, AT&T saw its shares of ups and downs. Overall business revenues were $9.3 billion, down 4.5 percent from Q1 2010 and 2 percent sequentially due to the aftereffects of the recent economic weakness in its voice and legacy data products. Driven by an increase in VPN revenues, IP business revenues, however, grew 8.5 percent.

AT&T's results come one day before fellow RBOC Verizon (NYSE: VZ) will announce its Q1 earnings.

For more:
- see the release
- The New York Times has this article
- here's FierceCable's take

Related articles:
AT&T's Q4 wireline results bolstered by IP-based business, consumer services
AT&T's Lindner: IP services drive consumer, business wireline growth
Wireline in the first quarter of 2011