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AT&T earnings preview: Tough times for the conglomerate

AT&T

AT&T earnings will be released on Thursday before the market opens and analysts expect them to fall as the communications and media conglomerate deals with thorny issues to do with the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on US consumer spending.

Analysts expect AT&T to report 79 cents in second-quarter adjusted earnings per share, down from 89 cents in the same period last year. Revenue is estimated to come in at just under $41 billion, versus about $45 billion a year ago.

AT&T Q2 Earnings stock chart

AT&T’s WarnerMedia subsidiary is expected to have felt the impact of the coronavirus, its wireless-phone and internet businesses saw spikes in demand as Americans shifted to working and entertaining themselves from home during the lockdown.

In fact, AT&T’s core wireless phone segment performed well in the first quarter and analysts’ consensus targets are for a slightly weaker second quarter for AT&T Mobility.  The company’s focus on the ongoing shift to next-generation 5G networks is another value-driving factor, especially in the light of Huawei’s ban from the US market.

The telecommunications conglomerate rolled over several billion dollars of its bonds in recent months to lower rates and more distant maturities. Its acquisition of DirectTV also seems to have paid off as it significantly expanded its customer base.

Investors will likely look to hear about near-term goals for the company as well as expect some financial guidance from AT&T management. In April, AT&T withdrew its forecasts for the rest of 2020, in addition to three-year targets for earnings, shareholder returns, cost reduction, and profit margins it revealed last fall. That came as a result of a settlement with activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which pushed for strategic changes at AT&T late last year.

Ahead of AT&T Q2 Earnings ‘s report, analysts anticipate it will likely beat the consensus EPS estimate with 29% of Wall Street analysts rating the stock a Buy.

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Galina Mikova

Galina is a Hubspot-certified Technical Writer with over 10 years of experience in working with Fortune 500, private investment, banking, FOREX and niche tech companies as well as crypto and blockchain startups. She has a solid background in FinTech and blockchain technology.