The carrier posted great numbers for Quarter 3, but missed Wall Street's estimates just ahead of the Apple iPhone 4S launch
U.S. wireless carrier AT&T reported a small dip in revenue for the third quarter of 2011, compared to a year earlier, but net income rose by nearly $400 million dollars. The strong growth was driven by the company' smobile and broadband divisions.
During the call today, the operator said total revenue was $31.5 billion, down $103 million, or 0.3 percent, from the third quarter of 2010. Net income was $3.6 billion, while net income excluding one-time items in the third quarter of 2010 was $3.2 billion.
AT&T also reported a net gain of 2.1 million mobile customers in the quarter, bringing its total customer base to 100.7 million. The first time the carrier has passed 100 million customers total.
While the dip was worrying to some analysts, AT&T was generally happy with the quarter as the dip was expected. It's almost a given now that revenue falls the quater before the new iPhone launches as consumers generally wait for the new device to launch before making their purchase.
The carrier also noted that over the iPhone 4S launch weekend, they activated over 1 million iPhone 4S smartphones. The largest amount of iPhone activations the carrier has had over one weekend yet.
Sales of the newly released iPhone 4S don't actually factor into the third-quarter results because the handset came out last week, well into Q4. That being said, expect a monster Q4 for AT&T next time around. No dip in revenue is expected at all .