AT&T fourth quarter revenues top $31.4 billion, U-verse TV adds 246,000 subscribers

AT&T (NYSE:T) Thursday reported its revenues increased 2.1 percent to $31.4 billion, up $643 million from the same period a year ago, and said its U-verse IPTV service had its best quarter of the year, adding 246,000 subscribers to take it to nearly 3 million subscribers. u-verse subscribersThe telco said U-verse continues to drive a transformation in AT&T's consumer area: IP revenues now represent 45 percent of AT&T's consumer wireline revenues, up from 35.3 percent a year ago. (Click here for Q4 highlights.)

Fourth quarter earnings were $1.1 billion, or 18 cents per share, that's down from 2009's fourth quarter earnings of $2.7 billion, or 46 cents per share, but includes a one-time charge of 26 cents per share from its previously disclosed pension accounting change.

For the full year 2010, compared with 2009 results, AT&T's consolidated revenues totaled $124.3 billion versus $122.5 billion; operating expenses were $104.7 billion, compared with $101.5 billion; net income attributable to AT&T was $19.9 billion versus $12.1 billion; and earnings per diluted share was $3.35 compared with $2.05. Earnings per share, excluding significant items, totaled $2.29, compared with $2.07, an increase of 10.6 percent for the year.

"We had another strong quarter and a solid year," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer. "Our major growth platforms - mobile broadband, U-verse and strategic business services - continue to set the pace for the industry, and we're still early in the growth cycle for all of these areas. Progress across these growth platforms, combined with continued progress on our cost-improvement initiatives, drive our positive outlook."

The telco said the fourth quarter was the second consecutive quarter to show year-over-year growth in wireline consumer revenue, and it said strategic business services also saw sustained growth.

Revenue from residential customers totaled $5.3 billion in the fourth quarter, up 0.7 percent year over year, their second consecutive year-over-year increase.

In addition to customer adds, AT&T said the U-verse High Speed Internet attach rate continued to run above 90 percent, and 60 percent of subscribers took AT&T U-verse Voice.

More than 75 percent of U-verse subscribers have a triple- or quad-play option, AT&T said, and ARPU for U-verse triple-play customers was more than $160. AT&T said its total video subscribers, which combine the company's U-verse and bundled satellite customers, reached 4.9 million at the end of the quarter.

The telco also said it posted a 210,000 net gain in wireline broadband connections.

Overall, U-verse revenues rose 73.4 percent from a year ago to $1.3 billion, representing a 7.5 percent increase in wireline revenues per household served. It was 0.4 percent higher than the third quarter as well, marking the 12th consecutive quarter with year-over-year growth in wireline consumer revenues per household.

For the quarter, AT&T saw continued growth in its wireless service as well, with 9.9 percent growth in its wireless revenues and adding more than 2.8 million wireless subscribers.

For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
AT&T: U-verse driving change in business; telco adds 236000 subs
AT&T sees first ever $1B revenue quarter for U-verse as IPTV
2010 Year in Review: AT&T's U-verse turns around landline business