AT&T Blames Hurricanes, Mexico Earthquake For Q3 Revenue, Video Subscriber Losses

AT&T filing: Natural disasters hitting earnings; DirecTV Now at 300K adds

AT&T revealed damage to its network and other property plus the costs to restore services, along with revenue declines from waived charges, would shave nearly US$90mln from third quarter consolidated revenues, while reported pre-tax earnings would take a US$210mln hit, equivalent to around two cents a share.

"It should be clear that DirecTV, like all of its cable peers, is suffering from the ravages of cord-cutting", Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson said after AT&T's Wednesday evening disclosure.

First, that cord cutting is now officially a thing-a dynamic that seemed to set in when the industry lost 976,000 customers in the second quarter.

The announcement weighed on other stocks in the sector, with shares of Dish Network Corp., Charter Communications Inc., Comcast Corp and Altice USA Inc. trading lower.

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Fine Capital Partners L.P. increased its position in shares of Whiting Petroleum Corporation by 53.7% during the 2nd quarter. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC boosted its holdings in Whiting Petroleum Corporation by 24.4% in the 2nd quarter.

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AT&T's prediction, issued after the market closed Wednesday, echoed Comcast's forecast in early September of third-quarter losses of 100,000 to 150,000 video customers due. That means the company lost 390,000 subscribers to its satellite and U-verse services, who are considered to be higher-value customers.

The decline of traditional video subscribers has a negative impact on AT&T's Entertainment Group revenues and margins; the group said the third quarter adjusted consolidated operating income margin would therefore "be essentially flat" versus the year-ago third quarter.

The company also announced that, effective July 1, it is reporting prepaid IoT connections (mainly for vehicle connectivity) as a separate class in its subscriber categories, which will result in 97,000 additional prepaid net adds in Q3.

As for the DirecTV Now additions, the virtual MVPD ended the second quarter with around 500,000 customers, according to AT&T. Deutsche Bank's Niknam noted accelerating competition from Dish's Sling service, Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Vue and others.

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