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AT&T's Q2 2012 financials: 320,000 net new postpaid subscribers, profit of $3.9 billion

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AT&T just posted its earnings for Q2 2012.

AT&T logo (STOCK)
AT&T logo (STOCK)

AT&T just posted its earnings for Q2 2012, revealing total quarterly revenue of $31.6 billion and wireless revenue of $16.4 billion — a 4.6 percent rise. In total the company made $3.9 billion profit over the quarter. Postpaid wireless subscriptions were up considerably on analysts' expectations: there was a 320,000 net increase in postpaid wireless subscribers, compared with an expectations in the 230,000 region. The results, above expectations they may be, aren't as impressive as those detailed last week by AT&T's largest competitor, Verizon, which announced 888,000 new postpaid wireless subscribers in the same period.

AT&T says it sold 5.1 million smartphones in the second quarter, and that 62 percent of all postpaid phones on AT&T are now smartphones, up from 50 percent a year earlier. The 62 percent figure is far higher than Verizon's — big red celebrated reaching 50 percent just last week. More than one-third of AT&T's postpaid smartphone customers use a 4G-capable device — although what it defines as 4G isn't clear. The company also activated 3.7 million iPhones, with 22 percent new to the company. In total smartphones accounted for 77 percent of postpaid sales over the last quarter.

Wireless data revenue ballooned 18.8 percent from last year to $6.4 billion. The data results are very similar to those posted by Verizon, which saw an 18.5 percent year-over-year increase. 27 million customers are now on tiered data plans, accounting for around two-thirds of all smartphone users, up from around 45 percent of users a year ago.

ARPU (average revenue per user, or, how much money AT&T made from each subscriber) increased 1.7 percent quarter-over-quarter to $64.93, which AT&T proudly claims is the highest in the industry. In contrast, Verizon's ARPU saw higher growth at 3.7 percent, but was far lower overall at $56.13 — likely due to AT&T's higher level of smartphone adoption.

Subscriptions for AT&T's cable and internet arm U-verse were pretty flat, with a slight increase leading to a total of 6.8 million subscribers. Of those, 6.5 million were using internet (down slightly from last quarter) and 4.1 million had a TV package (a slight increase over last quarter). Total revenue from residential services grew 1.7 percent year-over-year, reaching a total of $5.5 billion.