AT&T to release 4th quarter 2018 numbers next week

According to a recent press release,

AT&T Inc.* (NYSE: T) announced today that the company’s fourth-quarter 2018 results will be released before 7 a.m. ET on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. At 8:30 a.m. ET the same day, AT&T will host a conference call to discuss the results. The company’s earnings release, Investor Briefing and related materials will be available at AT&T Investor Relations.

A live webcast of the call will also be available at AT&T Investor Relations, and the webcast replay will be available until March 29, 2019.

Why is this a big deal?

2018 was a big year for AT&T. They rolled out 5G, although it a fairly limited form. They really revved up DIRECTV NOW, and they took the reins at Warner Media, home of HBO, DC superheroes and other high-value properties. Finding out how they’ve done in the fourth quarter will really give an investors if AT&T’s buying spree looks to have panned out.

Personally I’m not worried at all. I think AT&T has a plan, and that plan seems to be working. In the last half decade, Verizon bought AOL (once part of the former Time Warner empire) while Charter bought Time Warner Cable, yet another former Warner property. If you look at these three purchases, it’s pretty clear that AT&T made the smart choice while the other two didn’t.

AOL is one of those purchases that doesn’t make a lot of sense. They control a few web sites and some ad placement but the company is far from its old glory days. I’ve railed against Time Warner Cable in the past for having absolutely clueless customer service and a poor product. I stand behind that although there is some evidence that the guidance they’ve gotten from Charter has helped. It still hasn’t helped them right the foundering “Spectrum Sportsnet” channels but maybe one day.

AT&T’s other purchase was of course DIRECTV. Many people don’t realize this but DIRECTV’s majority ownership has changed several times over its history. It was originally a subsidiary of Hughes Electronics (part of General Motors.) Majority ownership shifted from News Corporation (parent of Fox) to Liberty Media (parent of Starz) before AT&T took the reins and reorganized its entertainment group so that DIRECTV and U-Verse were under the same leadership.

I think it’s all coming together

I really do. AT&T is poised to be the strongest information and entertainment powerhouse in the coming years. Comcast strikes me as the closes competitor and they don’t have any cellular network. AT&T continues to grow cellular, and with 5G they will be able to cover homes with internet all over the country. While Comcast owns NBC and Universal, AT&T’s media holdings are only rivaled by Disney’s, and Disney has no wireless or internet holdings. Only AT&T is really poised to “do it all.”

I guess we’ll get the final answers on January 30. Stay tuned!