Mobile

AT&T returns $8.4B to shareholders in a solid Q1

At this point, AT&T’s shareholders must be pleased.

AT&T reported revenues of $31.4 billion for the first quarter of 2013, down 1.5 percent from last year. The company also noted that it returned $4 billion to shareholders throughout the quarter through dividends and stock buybacks.

Specifically, AT&T paid shareholders $2.5 billion in dividends and $5.9 billion via stock buybacks.

With no major product or service announcements, the first quarter was unsurprisingly steady for AT&T, but you can certainly expect things to heat up over the next few quarters with the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and increased anticipation for the next iPhone.

Overall, AT&T is certainly in a better position than it was last quarter, when it posted a $3.9 billion loss due to Superstorm Sandy and benefit plan expenses.

The carrier reported its best smartphone sales ever for the quarter, 6 million, and it now has 107.2 million wireless customers (up from 103.9 million last year).

When it comes to the carrier’s new Mobile Share plans, which can be used to share data across several devices, AT&T’s chief financial officer John Stephens revealed that it has more than 3.3 million accounts. He noted that more than a quarter of Mobile Share customers are on large plans with 10 gigabytes of data or more.

And just to prove that customers actually prefer AT&T’s newer data plans, Stephens pointed out that around 1 million subscribers have moved over from unlimited plans so far.

Update: A previous version of this story noted that AT&T returned $4.7 billion to shareholders. That was based on an older AT&T earnings report and has been corrected.

Photo: Matt Hollingsworth/Flickr

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