AT&T now says it could save $2.5B a year after DirecTV deal, posts 1Q subscriber gains



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DALLAS — AT&T Inc. said Wednesday it expects bigger savings from its proposed purchase of satellite TV company DirecTV, and shares of the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier rose in aftermarket trading.

The Dallas company said it now thinks it can achieve $2.5 billion in annual savings from the DirecTV deal within three years of closing. That's up from its previous estimate of $1.6 billion. AT&T agreed to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion in May and it hopes to complete the deal by the end of June, but regulators still haven't signed off.

AT&T also said it gained 1.2 million branded smartphone users and 1.2 million wireless network users during the first quarter. Its subscriber turnover rate, or "churn," fell to 1.02 percent, which the company described as a record low.

Shares of AT&T added 56 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $33.42 in aftermarket trading.

AT&T said its net income fell 12 percent to $3.2 billion, or 61 cents per share. Excluding one-time items the company said it earned 63 cents per share. Its revenue totaled $32.58 billion, a fraction of a percentage point higher than last year.

Analysts expected adjusted net income of 63 cents per share and $32.88 billion, according to Zacks Investment Research.

AT&T also agreed to buy Nextel Mexico in January, and says the $1.88 billion deal should close soon.

Shares of AT&T rose 20 cents to $32.86 Wednesday before the release of the earnings report. The stock has fallen 9.5 percent over the last 12 months and has declined 2.2 percent in 2015. The Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen 2.4 percent this year.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on T at http://www.zacks.com/ap/T

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Keywords: AT&T, Earnings Report, Priority Earnings

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