UPDATE 3-AT&T results beat Wall Street, shares rise after hours
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By Malathi Nayak
SAN FRANCISCO Jan 27 (Reuters) - AT&T Inc on Tuesday posted a quarterly net loss that was slightly slimmer than Wall Street expected, as its mobile device deals attracted more customers, but its users switched to other networks at a higher rate.
AT&T shares rose about 2 percent in after-hours trading after closing at $32.81 on the New York Stock Exchange.
The second-largest U.S. wireless carrier posted a net loss of $4 billion, or 77 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with net income $6.9 billion, or $1.31 per share, a year ago. The loss was partly the result of $10 billion in charges related to pension and retiree benefit plans that it had announced this month.
Excluding items, AT&T earned 55 cents per share, beating analysts' forecasts by a penny.
The company said postpaid churn, or the rate of customer defections, rose to 1.22 percent and average revenue per phone user declined 10.7 percent from a year earlier.
While postpaid churn had risen since last year, it was comparable to 2012, AT&T executives told analysts on an earnings call. Both 2012 and 2014 saw the launch of numbered Apple phones, the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6, they added.
Faced with intense competition and promotional activity, wireless carriers have moved from two-year contract plans to equipment financing plans, which reduce service fees and eliminate subsidies for devices. Continuación...