AT&T CEO John Stankey Provides Update on Business Strategy and Growth

John Stankey, Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Inc., has delivered a comprehensive update to shareholders at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference.
AT&T CEO John StankeyJohn Stankey shared key points highlighting the company’s strategic direction, financial performance, and commitment to expanding connectivity across the United States.

Strategic Focus on Core Connectivity: AT&T’s renewed focus on core connectivity is yielding positive results. The company has successfully executed its strategy laid out three years ago, repositioning itself around strengths in 5G and fiber connectivity. Notably, since July 2020, AT&T has added over 8 million postpaid phone subscribers and more than 3 million fiber subscribers.

Strong Financial Performance: AT&T’s financial performance has seen significant improvement. In the second quarter of 2023, the company reported an impressive increase of over $2 billion in wireless service revenue compared to the same period in 2020. Furthermore, AT&T achieved record Mobility 2Q EBITDA during this timeframe. This success was made possible through investments of approximately $100 billion in capital and spectrum in America’s infrastructure while simultaneously reducing net debt by around $20 billion.

2023 Free Cash Flow: Stankey expressed confidence in AT&T’s full-year guidance, including free cash flow projected to surpass $16 billion. This outlook is supported by expectations of 3 percent+ adjusted EBITDA growth in 2023, consistent capital investment, and lower handset payments compared to 2022.

Focus on 5G and Fiber Customers: AT&T remains committed to building strong relationships with high-quality 5G and fiber customers. Stankey highlighted the increasing importance of connectivity convergence, emphasizing that AT&T’s integrated wireless and fiber network uniquely positions the company to benefit economically from adding converged subscribers.

Wireless and Fiber Growth: Stankey noted that AT&T’s disciplined go-to-market strategy in wireless continues to resonate with customers, allowing for faster service revenue growth than the industry average. Steady wireless subscriber growth is anticipated for the third quarter, driven by healthy demand and competitive dynamics.

Fiber Expansion: AT&T anticipates continued solid subscriber growth in the third quarter in its fiber offerings. The company’s fiber investment is supported by better-than-expected penetration rates, higher ARPUs (Average Revenue Per User), longer customer lifecycles, quality of service, and product longevity.

Investing in America’s Connectivity: AT&T is dedicated to becoming America’s premier connectivity provider. The company is pursuing a three-pronged approach to expand access to super-fast, reliable, high-capacity fiber service. This includes passing over 30 million consumer and business locations with fiber in its traditional service area by the end of 2025, pursuing opportunities outside its traditional service area via the Gigapower joint venture with BlackRock, and leveraging government funding via the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program to further expand fiber availability.

5G and Fiber Network Expansion: AT&T remains on track with all its 5G and fiber network expansion commitments. The nationwide 5G network now covers approximately 290 million people, with 5G+ delivered over midband 5G spectrum reaching 175 million people. The company aims to extend 5G+ coverage to 200 million people by the end of 2023, and it has also expanded its fiber network to over 25 million consumer and business locations.

AT&T’s commitment to enhancing connectivity and delivering strong financial results demonstrates its determination to meet the evolving demands of the modern digital landscape.