SPOTLIGHT: AT&T 3Q earnings preview

AT&T reports its third-quarter financial results Wednesday, and financial analysts are making their predictions on what might be revealed.

"Relatively steady" results are expected, despite the recent market battering. The iPhone is expected to yield mixed results, having attracted more AT&T wireless customers but also increased costs, due to phone pricing subsidies of 10 to 12 cents a share this year and next.

Broadband numbers and announcements will be studied carefully. In the second quarter, AT&T added just 46,000 broadband subscribers.  Declining numbers have been attributed to a pull back in promotions and higher DSL prices.

Analysts expect AT&T to earn 71 cents per share on $31.3 billion in revenue and to have added around 2 million more new wireless subscribers thanks to the iPhone. Wireline subscribers are expected to continue to decline, with nearly 2 million lines gone in the third quarter.

With consumer wireline and wireless businesses in the same division and under the same boss, there may be announcements of new bundles and strategies to cross promote and keep customers.

For more:
- AP (via Forbes) on AT&T  3Q earnings, directions for Wednesday. Article.

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