AT&T Adjust Quarterly Reporting To Reflect Business Sectors

Wireless carrier AT&T is overhauling how it presents its financial data. Beginning with its third quarter this year, AT&T is planning to separate its wireless business information into two, hoping to more clearly demonstrate its ventures with the enterprise and then the consumer. AT&T offers services to both the individual consumer and to employers, who may also sponsor plans for their employees. The carrier filed a new form with the Securities and Exchange Commission, explaining a significant change in how they report to investors. AT&T reasoned they were "revising our operating segments to align with the new management structure and organizational responsibilities." The carrier also pointed to its acquisition of DirecTV as a motive. AT&T has stock available to the public, meaning it has a duty to present quarterly reports to stockholders. The reorganization of these reports may present a clearer picture of the company's finance.

The new enterprise segment will be known as AT&T's "Business Solutions," and currently reports on the carrier's wireless and wireline services, but only to business clients and those who participate in employer-sponsored plans. AT&T states they use their "wireless and wired network to provide a complete communications solution to our business customers." The carrier will also present "Consumer Mobility" figures. The data in this segment contains general information on individual subscribers and their use of AT&T's wireless services. Subscribers using the carrier's services through either wholesale or resale will also be included in the "Consumer Mobility" report. The "Entertainment and Internet Services" sector fittingly notes the company's data on its U-verse service. Subscribers to U-Verse and DirecTV will not be combined and instead remain distinct.

The final segment, known simply as "International," will provide data on DirecTV's progress in Mexico and Latin America. "Video entertainment services are provided primarily to residential customers using satellite data. Wireless services utilize our regional and national wireless networks in Mexico to provide consumer and business customers with wireless data and voice communication services," says AT&T in the SEC filing. Also, companies owned by AT&T and in foreign nations will convert their local currency to U.S. dollars with official exchange rates.

AT&T's decision to alter the system used for quarterly reports concerns some analysts who are unsure how the new segments will affect comparisons to competitors. AT&T hasn't stated whether or not they will be providing additional metrics, such as ARPU or net adds. The first report to take advantage of the new organization will be released October 22.

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