AT&T Posts “Expected” Earnings for Q1 2020 With Slight COVID-19 Dip

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AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) reported first-quarter results yesterday. First-quarter 2020 cash from operating activities was $8.9 billion, down $2.2 billion when compared to 2019. Mobility revenues for the first quarter of 2020 were $17.4 billion, up 0.2 percent versus the first quarter of 2019.

“The COVID pandemic had a five cents per share impact on our first quarter. Without it, the quarter was about what we expected — strong wireless numbers that covered the HBO Max investment, and produced stable EBITDA and EBITDA margins,” said AT&T Chairman/CEO Randall Stephenson.

First-Quarter Highlights:

Mobility:

  • Service revenues up 2.5 percent
  • Operating income up 9.0 percent with EBITDA of $7.8 billion, up 7.0 percent
  • Postpaid phone churn of 0.86 percent, a 6 basis point improvement
  • 163,000 postpaid phone net adds

“We have a strong cash position, a strong balance sheet, and our core businesses are solid and continue to generate good free cash flow — even in today’s environment. In light of the pandemic’s economic impact, we’ve already adjusted our capital allocation plans and suspended all share retirements,” Stephenson said. “As a result, we’re able to continue investing in critical growth areas like 5G, broadband and HBO Max, while maintaining our dividend commitment and paying down debt.”

Cash from operating activities was $8.9 billion, and capital expenditures were $5.0 billion. Capital investment – which consists of capital expenditures plus cash payments for vendor financing – totaled $5.8 billion, which includes about $800 million of cash payments for vendor financing. Free cash flow – cash from operating activities minus capital expenditures – was $3.9 billion for the quarter. Net-debt-to-adjusted EBITDA at the end of the first quarter was about 2.6x.

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