Top U.S. phone company AT&T Inc. on Tuesday said its profit and revenue rose, helped by strong growth in its wireless business and its acquisition of BellSouth.
Third-quarter net profit was $3.1 billion, from $2.2 billion, in the same quarter a year earlier. Earnings per share fell to 50 cents a share from 56 cents a share, due to the large number of outstanding shares following the acquisition.
Excluding costs from the deal and other items, profit rose to 71 cents per share from 63 cents. That was in line with the Wall Street's average forecast, according to Reuters Estimates.
Revenue nearly doubled to $30.1 billion from $15.6 billion. But combining sales from the former BellSouth as well as their wireless joint venture, revenue rose 3.2 percent. AT&T closed the acquisition of BellSouth late last year, and Cingular Wireless has been renamed AT&T.
AT&T added a net 2.0 million wireless subscribers in the quarter, the highest third-quarter increase in the company's history. It added a net 1.2 million postpaid users, or those who pay monthly bills.
Wireless revenue totaled $10.9 billion, up 14.4 percent from the year-earlier quarter, it said. Wireless operating income margin rose to 18 percent from 14.8 percent.
Wireless and Internet services have helped AT&T grow despite a decline in landline subscribers. AT&T said high-speed Internet subscribers rose 18.6 percent from a year earlier to 13.8 million.
AT&T repurchased 50.5 million of its shares in the third quarter for $2.0 billion. It also paid $2.2 billion in dividends.