AT&T Uses Long Weekend To Bury $10B Q4 Charge
AT&T, the largest telephone company in the U.S., gave a heads up that it's planning to record a $10 billion charge in its fourth quarter financial results, including a $7.9 billion write-off related to changes in its pension and retiree benefit plans, and a $2.1 billion non-cash charge based on the determination that copper assets are no longer necessary as customers move away from older voice and data products.
Image Source: Flickr (Mike Mozart)
According to Bloomberg, AT&T has been fairly consistent with making pension adjustments in January just prior to announcing fourth quarter results. In this instance, by leaving out one-time write-offs like its pension loss and asset charge, analysts on average expect profits to be $0.56 per share, up from $0.53 per share a year prior, on revenue of $34.2 billion.
Investors are still figuring out how to react to the news. Early on, AT&T's stock price fell by as much as 1.3 percent to $33.37 per share, but is now up to $33.80. They'll have an extra day to figure things out, as the stock market will not open for trading on Monday, January 19, 2015, a national holiday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day).