AT&T nets $6 billion profit and lowest ever subscriber churn with 5G network investment

AT&T nets $6 billion profit and lowest ever subscriber churn with 5G network investment

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AT&T just reported earnings for its first quarter of the year and things are looking up with very low subscriber churn and $6 billion in adjusted income. Unlike T-Mobile, whose postpaid subscribers went down on the quarter, AT&T added 349,000 subscribers and contributed to the revenue growth in its mobile department.

In fact, this postpaid churn, i.e. subscribers leaving versus subscribers added, is AT&T’s best ever for the first quarter. It netted $3.1 billion in free cash flow, too, a 300% increase year-over-year.

At $55.57, the average monthly revenue per mobile user grew along with the subscriber number, and that contributed to the half a billion in extra revenue in the Mobility department. 

AT&T’s CEO John Stankey patted the team on the back for the discipline in executing the cost savings and revenue generation strategy :

The good financial results in the quarter were due to the additional revenue from all the new subscribers that AT&T added for the period. Those subscribers, however, didn’t buy as many new phones or tablets as before, despite that Samsung announced its vaunted Galaxy S24 series during that time.

As a result, AT&T notcher “lower equipment revenues due to lower sales volumes” of phones and tablets. Users are now also upgrading much more rarely than before, keeping a phone for three years instead of the two in the era of contracts. That is why AT&T introduced the 36-month equipment installment plan and the others quickly followed.

What we are most interested at, however, are AT&T’s capital expenditure plans for the expansion of its 5G network and services. AT&T spent $3.8 billion on network upgrades in Q1, with plans to spend at least $21 billion for the year, as it now prioritizes 5G and fiber as its “long-term growth” factors.

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