AT&T stockholders have nothing to complain about after the company posted quarterly results that were better than outsiders were expecting. Earnings for the quarter were 58 cents per share in the second quarter, a 35% jump from last year. That includes the results from AT&T’s 60% share in Cingular, but does not include any merger costs or special charges. Analysts were predicting a number closer to 53 cents per share.
A big contributor to the boost in profits was that share in Cingular. The mobile phone service added 1.5 million subscribers in the quarter. If Cingular continues to roll, it will only get better, because AT&T is about to buy BellSouth, their partner in Cingular, effectively taking complete control of the service provider with the squishy orange mascot. Bellsouth posted results that were up by 15%, so both companies come into their new arrangement in decent shape.
Traditional phone customers continue to disappear, so the mobile customers become even more crucial for the company. AT&T is also adding web-based television this year, as well as developing a wider fiber-optic network.