Wireless lifts AT&T Q1 earnings by 22%

AT&T's first quarter earnings rose 22% as its wireless division saw continued strong growth and the enterprise services division reversed a slide, an Associated Press report said. The US' largest telecoms company earned US$3.46 billion (€2.16 billion) in the three months ended 31 March, compared with US$2.85 billion (€1.78 billion) a year ago.

Revenue rose 6.1% to US$30.7 billion (€19.19 billion).

The earnings per share and revenue matched the average expectation of analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

The report further quoted CFO Rick Lindner saying that apart from some 'softness' in local phone lines, there was little sign of the weakness in the US economy affecting the company.

The company continues to be a 'defensive' investment when the economy is weak, Lindner said.

The company said last week that it plans to cut about 4,600 jobs, or 1.5% of its workforce, to shift resources from the traditional phone operations to growing parts of its business, like wireless. It expects its total head count of 310,070 to keep expanding.

AT&T lost 5 million local phone lines in the last year, to end the quarter with 60.4 million.