October 22, 2015 / 8:19 PM / 3 years ago

AT&T profit beats Street, raises full-year forecast

(Reuters) - AT&T Inc (T.N), long the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier and since July the world’s biggest pay-TV operator, raised its full-year earnings forecast after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit as it added more wireless mobile subscribers.

An AT&T Logo is pictured on the side of a building in Pasadena, California, January 26, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The company, reporting its first earnings since completing its $48 billion acquisition of satellite TV operator DirecTV in July, raised its adjusted earnings forecast to $2.68-$2.74 per share from $2.62-$2.68.

Net income attributable to AT&T fell to $3.0 billion, or 50 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $3.13 billion, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company reported earnings of 74 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 69 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total operating revenue rose 18.6 percent to $39.1 billion, short of the average estimate of $40.4 billion.

AT&T shares were up 1.9 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday.

The company said it had 289,000 postpaid and 466,000 prepaid net additions in the quarter.

The saturated wireless market has triggered a battle for subscribers among U.S. wireless carriers.

AT&T said last month it would change the methodology DirecTV used to count its commercial subscribers, which will reduce DirecTV’s total subscriber count by 918,600 at the close of the deal in July.

AT&T said on Wednesday that consensus revenue estimates for its third-quarter were “inflated” as they differed from its own accounting, which includes results from DirecTV.

Reporting by Kshitiz Goliya and Sudarshan Varadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr and Sriraj Kalluvila

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