October 24, 2018 / 11:07 AM / a month ago

AT&T posts a surprise gain in U.S. phone subscribers

Oct 24 (Reuters) - AT&T Inc on Wednesday reported a surprise gain in U.S. net wireless subscribers who pay a monthly bill, as it began to bundle media content from Time Warner into new wireless plans.

AT&T closed its $85-billion acquisition of media company Time Warner in June, and created a new business segment called WarnerMedia to house assets including the Turner TV networks and premium channel HBO.

The second-largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers gained a net 69,000 phone subscribers in the United States who pay a monthly bill, compared with analysts' estimates of a net drop of 22,000 subscribers, according to research firm FactSet.

Third-quarter net income attributable to AT&T rose to $4.7 billion, or 65 cents per share, from $3.0 billion, or 49 cents per share a year earlier.

Total operating revenue rose 15.3 percent to $45.74 billion, beating analysts' expectation of $45.65 billion, according to Refinitiv data. (Reporting by Sheila Dang in New York and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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