Consolidated revenues of $32.1 billion (up 1.6 percent annually) on a diluted EPS of $0.71 (up 7.6 percent annually) were both good enough for AT&T’s second quarter to beat analysts’ estimates. Still, net income for the quarter was down slightly from second quarter of 2012, to $3.8 billion from $3.9 billion.
The numbers represent a slight bounce back for AT&T after CEO Randall Stephenson said he was disappointed in the revenue slip the carrier saw in the previous quarter.
Adding 551,000 wireless postpaid customers during the quarter likely contributed to wireless revenues, up 5.7 percent annually. An impressive 398,000 of those postpaid adds were tablets. AT&T boasted that 35 percent of its postpaid smartphone base is now using LTE devices which led to a rise in smartphone data usage of 50 percent annually.
Record Android smartphone sales didn’t stop AT&T from topping its iPhone sales from the same quarter last year. Overall, AT&T sold 6.8 million smartphones during the quarter.
AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph De La Vega reiterated the carrier’s claims to having the nation’s fastest and most reliable LTE network. He touted AT&T’s recent moves in the connected car space—mentioning agreements with GM, Sirius XM and AudioVox—and saw a big upside to the company’s proposed acquisition of prepaid carrier Leap Wireless.
“There’s a strong growth opportunity there,” De La Vega said of the prepaid space adding that the Leap deal would accelerate expansion of AT&T’s existing prepaid offerings.
De La Vega confirmed that AT&T intends to keep the Cricket brand once the Leap acquisition is complete, though he did not mention any plans for AT&T’s existing brands, Aio Wireless and GoPhone.
Earlier in the Q&A portion of the earnings call, De La Vega mentioned that AT&T soon will be adding data to its wireless home phone offering, which he expected would help grow the carrier’s wireless average revenue per user (ARPU).
On news of AT&T’s second quarter, stocks were down about one percent in after-market trading.