AT&T Wireless Sales Strong but Falls Below Expectations

AT&T Inc posted third-quarter earnings Wednesday that fell below Wall Street’s expectations. However, AT&T Wireless sales were strong due to Apple Inc’s iPhone 3G. The company added 2 million new AT&T wireless customers.

Sales for Apple Inc’s iPhone 3G helped AT&T add 2 million new wireless customers. While AT&T wireless sales were up, the telecommunications company fell below expectations after posting its third-quarter earnings.

AT&T Inc posted its third-quarter earnings report on Wednesday. The report fell below Wall Street’s expectations. The company said its profits were hurt by subsidies for the 2.4 million Apple Inc iPhones sold during the quarter.

The telecommunications company also said it was hurt by damages from hurricanes Ike and Gustav.
AT&T wireless is the only carrier of Apple’s iPhone in the United States. Its subsidy amounts to about $375 per unit. The company added 2 million AT&T wireless subscribers during the quarter.

Stocks on wireless carriers traded lower on Wednesday.

AT&T shares fell $1.60 to $24.12 on Wednesday afternoon trading. AT&T stock has been down 42 percent since the beginning of the year. Shares of Verizon Communications Inc fell $1.81 to $26.20. The stock is down 40 percent since the start of this year. Sprint Nextel Corp fell 15 cents to $3.67. Sprint’s shares are down more than 72 percent year-to-date.