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Report: AT&T Considers Selling Some Assets

Fri, 03/15/2013 - 10:38am
Andrew Berg

AT&T may be open to selling some of its assets, specifically its wireless towers, as a way of building a financial cushion, according to a report from Bloomberg. 

AT&T's Brad Burns, a spokesman for the carrier, told Bloomberg that any decision would be driven by what's right for the company and its shareholders but that is precedent in the industry for selling "noncore assets." 

Bloomberg mentioned a number of reasons AT&T may want to sell some of its assets. The company is looking down the barrell of a $14 billion network upgrade, a $11 billion stock buyback, as well a 4.9 percent dividend payout. 

Still, AT&T doesn't look to be desperate for cash. The company is expected to generate over $14 billion in free cash flow this year. 

AT&T fell to a $3.86 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2012 even on a 5.7 percent hike in wireless revenues and 780,000 wireless postpaid net additions, the largest increase in new subscribers in the past three years. 

The company said it sold 8.6 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, the most any company has ever sold. 

AT&T's consolidated revenues totaled $32.6 billion, up 0.2 percent versus the same quarter last year, and available cash was $12 billion.

The company's losses were largely attributed to a previously announced $10 billion charge related to pension costs, as well as damages incurred from Superstorm Sandy. Losses were still better than last year's fourth quarter loss of $6.68 billion, or $1.12 per share, which was also as a result of worker pension and retirement costs. 

 

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