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AT&T earnings rise but new wireless subscribers slow

2012-04-24 12:48 by
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On Tuesday, AT&T revealed that it essentially gained no phone subscribers on contract-based plans in the first quarter of 2012. That's only happened once before: A year ago, when Verizon launched its version of the iPhone.

The largest telecommunications company in the U.S. says it gained a net total of 726,000 wireless subscribers in the first quarter. That's less than a third of the number of subscribers added in the same period last year. That was the lowest figure in eight years, and less than a third of the number of subscribers added in the same period last year.

Weak subscriber figures are usually good for a phone company's earnings in the short term, since it doesn't have to subsidize the purchase of new devices. Meanwhile, AT&T shares rose in premarket trading. The shares are close to a four-year high of $31.97 hit a month ago.

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