SEC Filing Shows AT&T Have 900K Net Adds in Q4 2016

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AT&T hasn't yet announced their earnings for the previous quarter (October 1st through December 31st, 2016), but they have filed with the SEC, an 8-K filing that shows the company has 900K net adds for the quarter. It's important to note that these are simply classified as "wireless customers" and not postpaid customers, or phone customers. But AT&T did break down the 900,000 number in the 8-K filing with the SEC, so we can see how this all is distributed.

According to the filing, AT&T gained about 500,000 postpaid net adds and 400,000 prepaid net adds. Overall branded net adds totaled over 330,000. AT&T did also discontinue their 2G network at the start of this year, which means that the fourth quarter was the final quarter for users with 2G devices to upgrade and deactivate their device. AT&T noted that they had 700,000 2G deactivations in the quarter. Of that 700,000, about 50,000 were postpaid.

AT&T is going to be announcing their earnings on Wednesday, so we don't have the complete story of the quarter for the carrier. And with the fourth quarter being a holiday quarter, it's likely to be pretty big for AT&T. However, they did also note today that they expect to post a $1 billion loss for the quarter. And this is due to the "remeasurement" of employee pensions and post-employment benefits, which is done every year at AT&T, so this isn't something new, but that is a fairly big amount to post as a loss for the quarter.

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It was reported recently that AT&T has been the biggest "donor" of subscribers going to other carriers. Meaning that more people have left AT&T for a competitor than leaving another carrier for a competing carrier. That's likely something that AT&T is not too happy about, and with adding 900K subscribers in the quarter, it appears that they did work to keep subscribers on their network, or at least added more subscribers than they lost. Which is just as important as keeping subscribers, as that means that the churn rate is lower. In the last few years, the churn rate of carriers have been increasing at unprecedented rates, so it'll be good to see AT&T's dropping a bit.