AT&T lowers Capex to $4 bn though 5G business yet to improve revenue

AT&T has revealed that its capital expenditures were $4 billion during the first quarter of 2021.
AT&T mmWave 5G+ networkAT&T’s gross capital investment totaled $5.7 billion which includes $1.7 billion of cash payments for vendor financing.

AT&T did not reveal the number of 5G subscribers and its ARPU from 5G business. AT&T has been investing heavily in its 5G wireless network and bundling free streaming service for HBO Max with certain phone plans to attract customers.

AT&T said its gross capital investment for the year 2021 would be in the $22 billion range with capital expenditures in the $17 billion range.

AT&T said on Thursday that it added 595,000 phone subscribers in the first quarter. Rival Verizon said it lost more wireless subscribers than expected during the first quarter as it battled intense competition from T-Mobile US and AT&T to attract customers.

John Stankey, AT&T CEO, said: “We had another strong quarter of postpaid phone net additions, higher gross adds, lower churn and good growth in Mobility EBITDA. We continue to increase penetration in markets where we offer fiber broadband and we’re moving quickly to deploy more fiber.”

AT&T’s controversial move to make its entire 2021 theatrical movies slate available to its streaming customers at the same time helped the company attract 2.7 million new subscribers for HBO and HBO Max.

The services now have a total of 44.2 million U.S. subscribers, AT&T said.

AT&T added 235,000 new fiber internet customers, as Americans continued to work from home during the pandemic, driving up demand for home Wi-Fi.

The company’s net debt rose to $169 billion at the end of the first quarter, due to its purchase of more wireless spectrum, or airwaves that carry data.

Operating expenses were $36.3 billion versus $35.3 billion in the year-ago quarter. The wireless operator said expenses rose due to higher domestic wireless equipment costs, a one-time spectrum gain in the prior year, higher direct-to-consumer programming and marketing costs, and higher sports-related programming costs.

Operating income was $7.7 billion versus $7.5 billion in the year-ago quarter due to the impact of higher revenues and lower merger amortization costs.

AT&T revenue

Revenue for AT&T was up nearly 3 percent at $43.9 billion.

AT&T generated revenue of $28.2 billion (+5.2 percent) from Communications, $8.5 billion (+9.8 percent) from WarnerMedia, $1.4 billion (–13.6 percent) from Latin America, $743 million (–16.2 percent) from Vrio and $631 million (–10.2 percent) from Mexico.

AT&T’s mobility revenues touched $19 billion (+9.4 percent) primarily due to equipment revenues of $5 billion (+ 45.2 percent). Service revenues were $14 billion, up 0.6 percent year over year as subscriber gains offset declines in international roaming revenues.

AT&T’s business wireline revenues were $6 billion (–3.5 percent) and consumer wireline revenues were $3.1 billion (–0.4 percent). Total broadband subscriber net additions were 46,000 reflecting growth in fiber subscribers, more than offsetting losses in slower-speed services. AT&T Fiber net additions were 235,000. AT&T Fiber is marketed to more than 14.5 million customer locations.