AT&T’s profit this quarter is 17% higher following last year’s acquisition of the DirecTV brand. Still, the company is struggling somewhat at getting new wireless and video customers to sign up. The company has long been trying to transcend its wireless venture, which at this time, brings in half of the total revenue.
It was in the thick of all that when the company bought DirecTV for $49 billion, making it one of the biggest pay-TV providers in the U.S., with additional operations in the Latin American region. The March quarter was when the business lost a huge share of its mainstream phone subscribers (363,000), while on the video front, 54,000 U.S. subscribers broke with the service. The latter was a big hit, despite gains in the form of customers signing up for DirecTV packages.
AT&T has continuously been pushing the DirecTV satellite service, while lowering the focus on its old U-verse service, which has a footprint covering 21 states. The fourth quarter saw more people leave U-Verse than join DirecTV, a pattern that stayed through the first quarter with DirecTV adding 328,000 connections, even while U-verse lost 382,000. In spite of the drop, the company will keep adding video customers for the full year, according to conference call statement made by CFO John Stephens.
The three months leading to March 31 saw a net income rise of 3.8 billion, which is 61 cents per share. This was from $3.26 billion or 63 cents a share, as of a year back. Other than items, the company has gone up 72 cents a share. Revenue went up 24% to $40.54 billion since the acquisition of DirecTV; where before the wireless revenue was unpromising at $14.8 billion.
Wireless carriers increasingly more focused on video, which makes up a bulk of wireless data traffic. Verizon has started the go90 service, and T-mobile is giving out free video streams to customers. In March, AT&T had announced a plan to start giving over-the-top video services before the end of the year, but they have been sparing us with any more word on that.
We are all still unclear on what the pricing and programming will be like. All that is known is that the company is busy securing the rights for the service, which will be provided over the internet instead of a set-top box.