Perfect pitch. That's what they call it when you can flawlessly sing or identify a specific note upon request.
This morning's earnings report from AT&T
Overall, AT&T reported $29 billion in revenue for the quarter, and converted this to $2.8 billion in net income. Excluding merger-related costs, the company turned in earnings of $0.65 per share, $0.04 above the mean analyst expectation, on revenue that was just a hair shy of the average prediction of $29.6 billion.
The company continued to improve upon a number of operating metrics, showing that it's doing a better job of meeting customers' needs with fewer and fewer resources. On the wireless side of the business, customer churn continued to tick down to a reported 1.7% for the quarter, well below the 1.9% year-ago figure. Average revenue per user (ARPU) rose a slight 1.4% year over year to $49.21. These improvements helped AT&T inch closer to wireless-metric king and rival Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon
As expected, pro forma revenue for the wireline side of AT&T's business continued to decline, as many customers either made the full switch to wireless or took the bait on Internet telephone offerings from troubled Vonage
The only sour notes in AT&T's quarterly performance were tempered growth in wireless customers and the aforementioned, greater-than-expected loss of fixed-line subscribers. Those misses turned its crescendo of improving margins businesswide into a B-flat, as the stock dipped today by 1.5%. But while investors should beware a potential slowdown in the growth of the lucrative wireless business, the improving fundamentals at AT&T should be music to the ears of Fools invested for the long haul.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock holds a tune about as well as the alley cats. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Vodafone is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. eBay is a Stock Advisor recommendation. Dave is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.