AT&T's wireless growth expected to offset landline losses

AT&T likely will post stable results for the third quarter, with wireless growth outweighing losses the company is expected to suffer in its traditional landline business.

AT&T, which reports its earnings Oct. 22, is expected to score between 1.5 million and 1.7 million net wireless subscriber additions in the quarter, according to an earnings preview from Dow Jones Newswires. The additions are expected to be driven mainly by a surge in demand for the iPhone 3GS, which AT&T launched in late June. AT&T's wireless margins will be a key metric to watch; in the past, subsidies for the iPhone have cut into the margins.

The projections mesh with the one AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson recently gave. He said in mid-September that the company was on pace to add more mobile subscribers in the third quarter than it did in the second quarter; AT&T had 1.4 million net subscriber additions in the second quarter.

AT&T's wireless business produced $13.2 billion in revenue in the second quarter and it ended the quarter with 79.6 million wireless customers.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)

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