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AT&T quarterly profit tops estimates, shares rise

NEW YORK (Reuters) – AT&T Inc (T.N) stated on Wednesday that quarterly profit beat Wall Street analyst estimates, helped by impacts from tax cuts and wi-fi subscriber additions.

Net earnings attributable to AT&T was $19.zero billion, or $three.08 per share, within the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $2.four billion, or 39 cents a share, within the year-earlier interval.

Excluding objects, the No. 2 U.S. wi-fi service reported earnings of 78 cents per share, which included a 13-cent influence from tax cuts signed into regulation by U.S. President Donald Trump late final yr. Analysts on common have been anticipating earnings of 65 cents per share, in line with Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares rose 2.5 p.c to $38.40 in after-hours buying and selling.

AT&T is aiming to finish its $85.four billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc (TWX.N). The U.S. Department of Justice sued to dam the deal final yr, and a trial is slated to start on March 19.

“While we remain open to finding some reasonable solutions to address the government’s concern, we do expect this case will ultimately be litigated in court,” stated Chief Executive Randall Stephenson on the corporate’s post-earnings convention name, including “we remain very confident that we’ll complete this merger.”

Revenue was $41.7 billion, in contrast with $41.eight billion within the year-earlier interval. Analysts had anticipated $41.2 billion.

AT&T additionally stated it added 329,000 cellphone subscribers who pay a month-to-month invoice within the quarter, in contrast with a lack of 67,000 a yr earlier.

For 2018, AT&T stated together with impacts from tax cuts and a brand new accounting customary, it expects earnings per share within the $three.50 vary, free money circulate of about $21 billion and capital expenditures of $25 billion.

Reporting by Anjali Athavaley; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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