AT&T Reports First-Quarter Results

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) reported solid Mobility and WarnerMedia results in the first quarter, including wireless service revenue growth and postpaid phone net adds, and grew operating income and EBITDA in the Entertainment Group.

Our first-quarter results show that were delivering on what we promised, said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. Were on plan to meet our de-leveraging goals with strong free cash flow and asset sales. We grew Entertainment Group EBITDA in the quarter and are confident well meet or exceed our full-year target. FirstNet deployment continues ahead of schedule. And we are recognized for having the nations best wireless network1, as well as the fastest network2.

All this speaks volumes about our focus on our strategic priorities and our ability to grow our Mobility, WarnerMedia and emerging Xandr businesses. Our teams are executing well and have turned in a good performance to start the year.

First-Quarter Results

Communications Highlights

  • Mobility:
    • Service revenues up 2.9%; operating income and EBITDA growth with postpaid phone and prepaid net adds
    • 179,000 postpaid smartphone net adds in the U.S.
      • 80,000 postpaid phone net adds
    • 96,000 prepaid net adds of which 85,000 are phones
  • Entertainment Group:
    • 13% operating income growth with solid ARPU gains
    • 6.9% EBITDA growth as company targets stability
    • Focus on long-term value customer base
      • 22.4 million premium TV subscribers “ 544,000 net loss
      • 1.5 million DIRECTV NOW subscribers “ 83,000 net loss
    • Nearly 300,000 AT&T Fiber gains; 45,000 broadband net adds with broadband revenue growth of more than 8%
    • 12.4 million customer locations passed with fiber

WarnerMedia Highlights

  • Solid revenue growth with strong operating income growth with gains in all business units
    • Turner subscription revenue growth
    • HBO digital subscriber growth continued as last season of Game of Thrones begins
    • Strong Warner Bros. revenue and operating income growth

Latin America Highlights

  • 93,000 Mexico wireless net adds

Xandr Highlights

  • Advertising revenues grew by 26.4% largely due to the AppNexus acquisition

Consolidated Financial Results

AT&T’s consolidated revenues for the first quarter totaled $44.8 billion versus $38.0 billion in the year-ago quarter, up 17.8%, primarily due to the Time Warner acquisition. Declines in legacy wireline services, Vrio, wireless equipment and domestic video were more than offset by the addition of WarnerMedia, domestic wireless services and Xandr. Operating expenses were $37.6 billion versus $31.8 billion in the year-ago quarter, an increase of about $5.8 billion due to the Time Warner acquisition and higher commission amortization from adopting new accounting standards last year, partially offset by lower wireless equipment costs and cost efficiencies.

Operating income was $7.2 billion versus $6.2 billion in the year-ago quarter, primarily due to the Time Warner acquisition, with operating income margin of 16.1% versus 16.3%. When adjusting for amortization, merger- and integration-related expenses and other items, operating income was $9.6 billion versus $7.5 billion in the year-ago quarter, and operating income margin was 21.4% versus 19.7% in the year-ago quarter due to the acquisition of Time Warner.

First-quarter net income attributable to AT&T was $4.1 billion, or $0.56 per diluted share, versus $4.7 billion, or $0.75 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusting for $0.30, which includes merger-amortization costs, merger- and integration-related expenses, a non-cash actuarial loss on benefit plans and other items, earnings per diluted share was $0.86 compared to an adjusted $0.85 in the year-ago quarter.

Cash from operating activities was $11.1 billion, and capital expenditures were $5.2 billion. Capital investment “ which consists of capital expenditures plus cash payments for vendor financing “ totaled $6.0 billion, which includes about $800 million of cash payments for vendor financing. Free cash flow cash from operating activities minus capital expenditures was $5.9 billion for the quarter.

1 Based on GWS OneScore Sept. 2018

2 Based on analysis by Ookla of Speedtest Intelligence data average download speeds for Q1 2019

*About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a diversified, global leader in telecommunications, media and entertainment, and technology. It executes in the market under four operating units. WarnerMedias HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. divisions are world leaders in creating premium content, operate one of the worlds largest TV and film studios, and own a world-class library of entertainment. AT&T Communications provides more than 100 million U.S. consumers with entertainment and communications experiences across TV, mobile and broadband services. Plus, it serves nearly 3 million business customers with high-speed, highly secure connectivity and smart solutions. AT&T Latin America provides pay-TV services across 11 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, and is the fastest growing wireless provider in Mexico, serving consumers and businesses. Xandr provides marketers with innovative and relevant advertising solutions for consumers around premium video content and digital advertising through its AppNexus platform.

AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information is available at about.att.com. 2019 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Information set forth in this news release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&Ts filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.

This news release may contain certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations between the non-GAAP financial measures and the GAAP financial measures are available on the companys website at https://investors.att.com.

Discussion and Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures

We believe the following measures are relevant and useful information to investors as they are part of AT&T’s internal management reporting and planning processes and are important metrics that management uses to evaluate the operating performance of AT&T and its segments. Management also uses these measures as a method of comparing performance with that of many of our competitors. These measures should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for, other measures of financial performance reported in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Free Cash Flow

Free cash flow is defined as cash from operations minus capital expenditures. Free cash flow after dividends is defined as cash from operations minus capital expenditures and dividends. Free cash flow dividend payout ratio is defined as the percentage of dividends paid to free cash flow. We believe these metrics provide useful information to our investors because management views free cash flow as an important indicator of how much cash is generated by routine business operations, including capital expenditures, and makes decisions based on it. Management also views free cash flow as a measure of cash available to pay debt and return cash to shareowners.

 
Free Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow Dividend Payout Ratio
Dollars in millions
      First Quarter
          2019       2018
Net cash provided by operating activities       $ 11,052       $ 8,947  
Less: Capital expenditures         (5,182 )       (6,118 )
Free Cash Flow         5,870         2,829  
   
Less: Dividends paid         (3,714 )       (3,070 )
Free Cash Flow after Dividends       $ 2,156       $ (241 )
Free Cash Flow Dividend Payout Ratio         63.3 %       108.5 %
 

Cash Paid for Capital Investment

In connection with capital improvements, we negotiate with some of our vendors to obtain favorable payment terms of 120 days or more, referred to as vendor financing, which are excluded from capital expenditures and reported in accordance with GAAP as financing activities. We present an additional view of cash paid for capital investment to provide investors with a comprehensive view of cash used to invest in our networks, product developments and support systems.

 
Cash Paid for Capital Investment
Dollars in millions
      First Quarter
          2019       2018
Capital Expenditures $ (5,182 )     $ (6,118 )
Cash paid for vendor financing         (820 )       (172 )
Cash paid for Capital Investment       $ (6,002 )     $ (6,290 )
 

EBITDA

Our calculation of EBITDA, as presented, may differ from similarly titled measures reported by other companies. For AT&T, EBITDA excludes other income (expense) “ net, and equity in net income (loss) of affiliates, as these do not reflect the operating results of our subscriber base or operations that are not under our control. Equity in net income (loss) of affiliates represents the proportionate share of the net income (loss) of affiliates in which we exercise significant influence, but do not control. Because we do not control these entities, management excludes these results when evaluating the performance of our primary operations. EBITDA also excludes interest expense and the provision for income taxes. Excluding these items eliminates the expenses associated with our capital and tax structures. Finally, EBITDA excludes depreciation and amortization in order to eliminate the impact of capital investments. EBITDA does not give effect to cash used for debt service requirements and thus does not reflect available funds for distributions, reinvestment or other discretionary uses. EBITDA is not presented as an alternative measure of operating results or cash flows from operations, as determined in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

EBITDA service margin is calculated as EBITDA divided by service revenues.

When discussing our segment, business unit and supplemental results, EBITDA excludes equity in net income (loss) of affiliates, and depreciation and amortization from operating contribution.

These measures are used by management as a gauge of our success in acquiring, retaining and servicing subscribers because we believe these measures reflect AT&T’s ability to generate and grow subscriber revenues while providing a high level of customer service in a cost-effective manner. Management also uses these measures as a method of comparing operating performance with that of many of its competitors. The financial and operating metrics which affect EBITDA include the key revenue and expense drivers for which management is responsible and upon which we evaluate performance.

We believe EBITDA Service Margin (EBITDA as a percentage of service revenues) to be a more relevant measure than EBITDA Margin (EBITDA as a percentage of total revenue) for our Mobility business unit operating margin. We also use wireless service revenues to calculate margin to facilitate comparison, both internally and externally with our wireless competitors, as they calculate their margins using wireless service revenues as well.

There are material limitations to using these non-GAAP financial measures. EBITDA, EBITDA margin and EBITDA service margin, as we have defined them, may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Furthermore, these performance measures do not take into account certain significant items, including depreciation and amortization, interest expense, tax expense and equity in net income (loss) of affiliates. Management compensates for these limitations by carefully analyzing how its competitors present performance measures that are similar in nature to EBITDA as we present it, and considering the economic effect of the excluded expense items independently as well as in connection with its analysis of net income as calculated in accordance with GAAP. EBITDA, EBITDA margin and EBITDA service margin should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for, other measures of financial performance reported in accordance with GAAP.

 
EBITDA, EBITDA Margin and EBITDA Service Margin
Dollars in millions
      First Quarter
        2019     2018
Net Income $ 4,348     $ 4,759
Additions:
Income Tax (Benefit) Expense 1,023 1,382
Interest Expense 2,141 1,771
Equity in Net (Income) Loss of Affiliates 7 (9 )
Other (Income) Expense – Net (286 ) (1,702 )
Depreciation and amortization         7,206         5,994  
EBITDA         14,439         12,195  
 
Total Operating Revenues 44,827 38,038
Service Revenues 40,684 33,646
 
EBITDA Margin 32.2 % 32.1 %
EBITDA Service Margin         35.5 %       36.2 %
 
 
Segment and Business Unit EBITDA, EBITDA Margin and EBITDA Service Margin
Dollars in millions
      First Quarter
        2019     2018
Communications Segment              
Operating Contribution $ 8,052     $ 8,027
Additions:
Equity in Net (Income) Loss of Affiliates 2
Depreciation and amortization         4,593         4,575  
EBITDA         12,645         12,604  
 
Total Operating Revenues 35,393 35,533
 
Operating Income Margin 22.8 % 22.6 %
EBITDA Margin 35.7 % 35.5 %
               
Mobility
Operating Contribution $ 5,351 $ 5,158
Additions:
Depreciation and amortization         2,035         2,095  
EBITDA         7,386         7,253  
 
Total Operating Revenues 17,567 17,355
Service Revenues 13,792 13,403
 
Operating Income Margin 30.5 % 29.7 %
EBITDA Margin 42.0 % 41.8 %
EBITDA Service Margin 53.6 % 54.1 %
               
Entertainment Group
Operating Contribution $ 1,478 $ 1,309
Additions:
Equity in Net (Income) Loss of Affiliates 1
Depreciation and amortization         1,323         1,310  
EBITDA         2,801         2,620  
 
Total Operating Revenues 11,328 11,431
 
Operating Income Margin 13.0 % 11.5 %
EBITDA Margin 24.7 % 22.9 %
               
Business Wireline
Operating Contribution $ 1,223 $ 1,560
Additions:
Equity in Net (Income) Loss of Affiliates 1
Depreciation and amortization         1,235         1,170  
EBITDA         2,458         2,731  
 
Total Operating Revenues 6,498 6,747
 
Operating Income Margin 18.8 % 23.1 %
EBITDA Margin         37.8 %       40.5 %
 
 
Segment and Business Unit EBITDA, EBITDA Margin and EBITDA Service Margin
Dollars in millions
      First Quarter
        2019     2018
WarnerMedia Segment              
Operating Contribution $ 2,310     $ 39
Additions:
Equity in Net (Income) of Affiliates (67 ) (10 )
Depreciation and amortization         143         1  
EBITDA         2,386         30  
 
Total Operating Revenues 8,379 112
 
Operating Income Margin 26.8 % 25.9 %
EBITDA Margin 28.5 % 26.8 %
 
 
Segment and Business Unit EBITDA, EBITDA Margin and EBITDA Service Margin
Dollars in millions
      First Quarter
        2019     2018
Latin America Segment              
Operating Contribution $ (173 )     $ (111 )
Additions:
Depreciation and amortization         300         332  
EBITDA         127         221  
 
Total Operating Revenues 1,718 2,025
 
Operating Income Margin -10.1 % -5.5 %
EBITDA Margin 7.4 % 10.9 %
               
Vrio
Operating Contribution $ 32 $ 148
Additions:
Depreciation and amortization         169         205  
EBITDA         201         353  
 
Total Operating Revenues 1,067 1,354
 
Operating Income Margin 3.0 % 10.9 %
EBITDA Margin 18.8 % 26.1 %
               
Mexico
Operating Contribution $ (205 ) $ (259 )
Additions:
Depreciation and amortization         131         127  
EBITDA         (74 )       (132 )
 
Total Operating Revenues 651 671
 
Operating Income Margin -31.5 % -38.6 %
EBITDA Margin         -11.4 %       -19.7 %
 

 

Segment EBITDA, EBITDA Margin and EBITDA Service Margin
Dollars in millions
First Quarter
        2019     2018
Xandr              
Operating Contribution $ 253 $ 286
Additions:
Depreciation and amortization         13         1  
EBITDA         266         287  
 
Total Operating Revenues 426 337
 
Operating Income Margin 59.4 % 84.9 %
EBITDA Margin         62.4 %       85.2 %
 

Adjusting Items

Adjusting items include revenues and costs we consider non-operational in nature, such as items arising from asset acquisitions or dispositions. We also adjust for net actuarial gains or losses associated with our pension and postemployment benefit plans due to the often significant impact on our fourth-quarter results, unless earlier remeasurement is required (we immediately recognize this gain or loss in the income statement, pursuant to our accounting policy for the recognition of actuarial gains and losses). Consequently, our adjusted results reflect an expected return on plan assets rather than the actual return on plan assets, as included in the GAAP measure of income.

The tax impact of adjusting items is calculated using the effective tax rate during the quarter except for adjustments that, given their magnitude, can drive a change in the effective tax rate, reflect the actual tax expense or combined marginal rate of approximately 25% for transactions after tax reform.

 
Adjusting Items
Dollars in millions
      First Quarter
        2019     2018
Operating Revenues    
Time Warner merger adjustment       $ 42     $  
Adjustments to Operating Revenues         42        
Operating Expenses
Time Warner and other merger costs 73 67
Employee separation costs 248 51
Natural disaster costs 104
Foreign currency exchange               25  
Adjustments to Operations and Support Expenses         321       247  
Amortization of intangible assets         1,989       1,062  
Adjustments to Operating Expenses         2,310       1,309  
Other
Merger-related interest and fees1 393
Special termination charges, debt redemption costs and other adjustments 211
Actuarial (gain) loss         432       (930 )
Adjustments to Income Before Income Taxes         2,995       772  
Tax impact of adjustments 649 173
Tax-related items         141        
Adjustments to Net Income       $ 2,205     $ 599  

1 Includes interest expense incurred on debt issued, redemption premiums and interest income earned on cash held prior to the close of merger transactions.

Adjusted Operating Income, Adjusted Operating Income Margin, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, Adjusted EBITDA service margin and Adjusted diluted EPS are non-GAAP financial measures calculated by excluding from operating revenues, operating expenses and income tax expense certain significant items that are non-operational or non-recurring in nature, including dispositions and merger integration and transaction costs. Management believes that these measures provide relevant and useful information to investors and other users of our financial data in evaluating the effectiveness of our operations and underlying business trends.

Adjusted Operating Revenues, Adjusted Operating Income, Adjusted Operating Income Margin, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, Adjusted EBITDA service margin and Adjusted diluted EPS should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for, other measures of financial performance reported in accordance with GAAP. AT&T’s calculation of Adjusted items, as presented, may differ from similarly titled measures reported by other companies.

 
Adjusted Operating Income, Adjusted Operating Income Margin,
 
Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA Margin and Adjusted EBITDA Service Margin
Dollars in millions
      First Quarter
        2019     2018
Operating Income $ 7,233     $ 6,201
Adjustments to Operating Revenues 42
Adjustments to Operating Expenses         2,310         1,309  
Adjusted Operating Income         9,585         7,510  
               
EBITDA 14,439 12,195
Adjustments to Operating Revenues 42
Adjustments to Operations and Support Expenses         321         247  
Adjusted EBITDA         14,802         12,442  
 
Total Operating Revenues 44,827 38,038
Adjustments to Operating Revenues         42          
Total Adusted Operating Revenue         44,869         38,038  
Service Revenues 40,684 33,646
Adjustments to Service Revenues         42          
Adusted Service Revenue         40,726         33,646  
 
 
Operating Income Margin 16.1 % 16.3 %
Adjusted Operating Income Margin 21.4 % 19.7 %
Adjusted EBITDA Margin 33.0 % 32.7 %
Adjusted EBITDA Service Margin         36.3 %       37.0 %
 
 
Adjusted Diluted EPS
 
      First Quarter
        2019     2018
Diluted Earnings Per Share (EPS) $ 0.56     $ 0.75
Amortization of intangible assets 0.21 0.13
Merger integration items1 0.01 0.06

(Gain) loss on sale of assets, impairments and other adjustments2

0.05 0.03
Actuarial (gain) loss3 0.05 (0.12 )
Tax-related items         (0.02 )        
Adjusted EPS       $ 0.86       $ 0.85  
Year-over-year growth – Adjusted         1.2 %      
Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding with Dilution (000,000)         7,342         6,180  

 

1 Includes combined merger integration items and merger-related interest income and expense, and redemption premiums.

2 Includes gains on transactions, natural disaster adjustments and charges, and employee-related and other costs.

3 Includes adjustments for actuarial gains or losses ($432 million loss in the first quarter of 2019) associated with our pension benefit plan, which we immediately recognize in the income statement, pursuant to our accounting policy for the recognition of actuarial gains/losses. As a result, adjusted EPS reflects an expected return on plan assets of $816 million (based on an average expected return on plan assets of 7.00% for our pension trust), rather than the actual return on plan assets of $2.8 billion (actual return of 5.8% for the quarter), included in the GAAP measure of income.

Pro Forma Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA

Net Debt to EBITDA ratios are non-GAAP financial measures frequently used by investors and credit rating agencies and management believes these measures provide relevant and useful information to investors and other users of our financial data. Our Net Debt to Pro Forma Adjusted EBITDA ratio is calculated by dividing the Net Debt by the sum of the most recent four quarters Pro Forma Adjusted EBITDA. Net Debt is calculated by subtracting cash and cash equivalents and certificates of deposit and time deposits that are greater than 90 days, from the sum of debt maturing within one year and long-term debt.

 
Net Debt to Pro Forma Adjusted EBITDA
Dollars in millions
      Three Months Ended  
Jun. 30,     Sep. 30,     Dec. 31,     Mar. 31,   Four Quarters
       

20181

   

20181

   

20181

    2019    
Pro Forma Adjusted EBITDA1,2 $ 15,119 $ 15,872 $ 15,029 $ 14,802 $60,822
Add back severance (133 ) (76 ) (327 ) (536 )
Net Debt Pro Forma Adjusted EBITDA 14,986 15,796 14,702 14,802 60,286
End-of-period current debt 11,538
End-of-period long-term debt 163,942
Total End-of-Period Debt 175,480
Less: Cash and Cash Equivalents 6,516
Net Debt Balance                               168,964  
Annualized Net Debt to Pro Forma Adjusted EBITDA Ratio                               2.80  

 

1 As reported in AT&T’s Form 8-K filed July 24, 2018, October 24, 2018 and January 30, 2019.

2 Includes the purchase accounting reclassification of released content amortization of $491 million pro forma and $98 million reported by AT&T in the second quarter of 2018, $772 million reported in the third quarter of 2018, $545 million reported by AT&T in the fourth quarter of 2018 and $150 million reported by AT&T in the first quarter of 2019.

Supplemental Operational Measures

We provide a supplemental discussion of our business solutions operations that is calculated by combining our Mobility and Business Wireline operating units, and then adjusting to remove non-business operations. The following table presents a reconciliation of our supplemental Business Solutions results.

 
Supplemental Operational Measure
      First Quarter
March 31, 2019           March 31, 2018      
        Mobility    

Business Wireline

    Adjustments1    

Business Solutions

Mobility    

Business Wireline

    Adjustments1    

Business Solutions

Operating Revenues                        
Wireless service $ 13,792 $ $ (11,879 ) $ 1,913 $ 13,403 $ $ (11,612 ) $ 1,791
Strategic and managed services 3,792 3,792 3,595 3,595
Legacy voice and data services 2,404 2,404 2,865 2,865
Other services and equipment 302 302 287 287
Wireless equipment         3,775             (3,179 )       596   3,952               (3,374 )       578  
Total Operating Revenues         17,567       6,498       (15,058 )       9,007   17,355       6,747         (14,986 )       9,116  
Operations and support 10,181 4,040 (8,581 ) 5,640 10,102 4,016 (8,524 ) 5,594
EBITDA 7,386 2,458 (6,477 ) 3,367 7,253 2,731 (6,462 ) 3,522
Depreciation and amortization         2,035       1,235       (1,729 )       1,541   2,095       1,170         (1,807 )       1,458  
Total Operating Expenses         12,216       5,275       (10,310 )       7,181   12,197       5,186         (10,331 )       7,052  
Operating Income 5,351 1,223 (4,748 ) 1,826 5,158 1,561 (4,655 ) 2,064
Equity in net Income of Affiliates                                     (1 )               (1 )
Contribution       $ 5,351     $ 1,223     $ (4,748 )     $ 1,826 $ 5,158     $ 1,560       $ (4,655 )     $ 2,063  

1 Non-business wireless reported in the Communication segment under the Mobility business unit.

Erin McGrath
AT&T Inc.
Phone: (214) 862-0651
Email: [email protected]