AT&T Q4 2013 Revenue Hits $33.2B, Turns a Profit

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AT&T reported its 2013 fourth fiscal quarter earnings on Tuesday, and the news is mostly good for investors. The second largest U.S. cell service provider reported US$33.2 billion in revenue with a $5.2 billion profit, only 1.11 percent churn in customers, and 93 percent of its postpaid phone sales were smartphones.

AT&T turned a profit in Q4 2013The carrier added 566,000 new postpaid subscribers, along with 1.2 million postpaid smartphones through new customers and upgrades for existing customers. That's good news for AT&T investors because smartphones subscribers tend to generate more revenue per subscriber compared to feature phone users.

That figure isn't, however, all good. It's substantially lower than the 780,000 subscribers the company added during the same quarter a year ago, and well below T-Mobile's 869,000 new subscribers.

The company's Next program accounted for over 1 million of the 7.9 million smartphones sold during the quarter. Next is AT&T's program that lets subscribers upgrade to new smartphones part way through their two-year contract.

AT&T also spent $1.9 billion to buy back 54 million shares, bringing its total share buybacks for the fiscal year to 336 million costing $13 billion.

Once again, AT&T didn't break out how many smartphone sales went to Apple's iPhone.

While AT&T did turn a profit, it didn't report numbers on the same scale as Apple. The iPhone and iPad maker reported on Monday $57.6 billion in revenue with $13.1 billion in profits. The company also reported selling 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads during the quarter.

AT&T is currently trading at $32.37, down 1.33 (3.95%).

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Seeing a profit at AT&T is good, but the company will have to work to keep that happening quarter to quarter. Programs to retain customers and draw in new subscribers -- like offering up to $450 to T-Mobile subscribers -- can be expensive.

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Lee Dronick

I guess that their popup footer ads are working.

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