AT&T Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Preview

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, January 26, 2012. AT&T is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates provide wireless and wireline telecommunications services and products to consumers and businesses worldwide. It also provides directory advertising and publishing services in the United States and international markets.

AT&T, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 44 cents per share, a decline of 20% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 54 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 47 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 2.6% versus last year to $2.23.

Past Earnings Performance: The company fell in line with estimates last quarter after topping forecasts the quarter before. After coming in above the mean estimate by one cent in the second quarter, the company fell in line with expectations by reporting profit of 61 cents per share last quarter.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 1.9% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $31.95 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about AT&T with 18 of 29 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 70.6% to $3.62 billion (61 cents a share) from $12.34 billion ($2.08 a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue fell 0.3% to $31.48 billion from $31.58 billion.

Key Stats:

A year-over-year revenue decrease in the third quarter snapped a streak of three consecutive quarters of revenue increases. Revenue rose 2.2%in the second quarter, 2% in the first quarter and 1.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company has seen net income fall in each of the last two quarters. Net income dropped 10.7% in the second quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGY), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL), General Communication, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNCMA), Cbeyond, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBEY), MetroPCS Communications, Inc. (NYSE:PCS), Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE:CBB), PAETEC Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:PAET), and Frontier Communications Corp (NYSE:FTR).

Stock Price Performance: During November 21, 2011 to January 20, 2012, the stock price had risen $2.56 (9.2%) from $27.95 to $30.51. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 22, 2011 and March 30, 2011 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 9.3% (+$2.46) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 31, 2011 and June 7, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 3.9% (-$1.19) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at