AT&T Highlights Mexican Ambitions
AT&T says that it is heavily focused on its recent Mexican acquisitions into its portfolio in 2015 and beyond.
Executives at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) talked about their plans for 2015 on the operator's fourth-quarter earnings call Tuesday. As well as DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), the acquisitions of Iusacell and Nextel Mexico are front and center for AT&T. (See AT&T to Buy Nextel Mexico for $1.9B and AT&T Names Iusacell CEO, Closes Acquisition.)
In fact, AT&T made it clear on the call that integrating these properties is among its major tasks for the next couple of years. Analysts on the call asked about the possibility of other foreign acquisitions and the AT&T CEO made it clear that the operator already has plenty on its plate with the integration work that needs to be done.
"Building out Mexico will be a full court press for the next couple of years," said Stephenson. "We will now have the ability to expand our network directly into Mexico building one seamless network that spans 400 million people."
The foreign affairs, however, don't mean that AT&T has taken its eye off its LTE build in the US in 2014. Stephenson says that the 4G network now covers more than 300 million in the US.
"We have re-engineered our mobile network and we now deliver the strongest LTE signal in the US," Stephenson claimed on the call.
AT&T says it spent $21.4 billion on capex for the year and $4.4 billion for the quarter. The operator has previously described that as a peak and expects capital expenditures to be in the $18 billion range for 2015. (See AT&T to Buy Iusacell, Plans Lower Capex For 2015.)
The operator added 1.9 million new connections for the quarter but, like rival Verizon, is experiencing more churn in the competitive US market. Verizon added 2.1 million connections over the same period.
AT&T's strong push into the connected car market is starting to pay off though, as 800,000 of the new connections were cars, while 1.3 million were devices.
AT&T posted a net loss of $4 billion for the quarter -- or $0.77 a share -- because of rising pension costs. Excluding these items, EPS was $0.55. Revenue grew 3.8% to $34.4 billion.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading