AT&T adds more 5G push wireless subscribers, HBO Max attracts more viewers

October 21 (Reuters) – AT&T Inc’s quarterly revenues and monthly additions of subscribers paying phone bills exceeded market expectations on Thursday, due to increased demand for its phone and internet service and growth regular of its HBO Max streaming platform.

Total revenue fell 5.7% to $ 39.9 billion in the third quarter from a year earlier due to the divestiture of satellite TV provider DirectTV. But it topped analysts’ average estimate of $ 39.14 billion.

Telecommunications operators, including AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc, have unwound their costly media activities to direct their investments towards telephone and Internet services.

With $ 179.2 billion in debt as of September 30, AT&T has also been under pressure to sell less profitable businesses and spend more on 5G and other wireless services.

These investments have paid off as the wireless operator added 928,000 new net telephone subscribers who pay a monthly bill, higher than quarterly expectations of 560,000, according to data from research firm FactSet.

Competitor operator Verizon added 429,000 subscribers in its last quarter.

Media companies have also tried to beat the competition and grow by investing heavily in content and international expansion.

As streaming services grappled with a subscriptions slowdown, AT&T added 12.5 million subscribers globally for its premium HBO TV channel and HBO Max streaming service as viewers flocked to titles like “White Lotus” and “The Suicide Squad”.

Net income applicable to the company’s common shares reached $ 5.9 billion, or 82 cents per share, in the quarter, from $ 2.8 billion, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, AT&T earned 87 cents per share.

Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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