AT&T Reports $140M in FirstNet Capital Expenditures in First Quarter
Thursday, April 26, 2018 | Comments

AT&T reported wireless and international results in the first quarter. The wireless carrier said capital expenditures were $6.1 billion. Capital expenditures included about $140 million in First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) capital costs and no FirstNet reimbursements.

More than 600 agencies have signed on for services, said AT&T Chief Financial Officer (CFO) John Stephens during a quarterly earnings call. AT&T plans to add band 14 capability to about one-third of its cell sites during 2018.

“We’re off to a good start in 2018, both in growing our customer base and in building the world’s premier gigabit network,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO. “Our investment in customer growth and our integrated service offerings helped drive solid first-quarter subscriber gains across our wireless, video and broadband businesses. We also moved quickly to deploy FirstNet, and we expect the buildout to accelerate as we go forward.”

AT&T's consolidated revenues for the first quarter totaled $38 billion versus $39.4 billion in the year-ago quarter, primarily because of the impact of ASC 606 new accounting standards, which included netting of universal service fund (USF) with operating expenses. On a comparative basis, declines in legacy wireline services, domestic video, and wireless service revenues were partially offset by growth in wireless equipment and strategic business services. On a comparative basis, revenues were $38.9 billion, a decrease of 1.1 percent.

Operating expenses were $31.8 billion versus $33.0 billion primarily because of the netting of USF and other regulatory fee revenues and the deferral of commissions under ASC 606. Excluding those impacts, operating expenses were $33.4 billion, an increase of about $350 million due to higher wireless equipment costs.

Versus results from the first quarter of 2017, operating income was $6.2 billion versus $6.4 billion; and operating income margin was 16.3 percent versus 16.1 percent. On a comparative basis, operating income was $5.6 billion and operating income margin was 14.3 percent.

The carrier reported cash from operating activities was $8.9 billion and free cash flow — cash from operating activities minus capital expenditures — was $2.8 billion for the quarter.

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On 5/2/18, David Marutiak said:
Your title is poorly worded, implying that the $6B in total capital outlays was FirstNet related rather than the $140M that was.

Editor's Note: You are absolutely correct. We have corrected the headline to note $140 million in FirstNet expenditures. Our apologies for the error.

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