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AT & T’s profits increase as wireless unit, HBO Max connects customers

AT&T shares rose the most on Thursday after the telecom giant’s first quarter results.

The company’s wireless division, its largest unit, added 595,000 phone customers who pay monthly bills, up from 163,000 in the same period in 2020. It also included 207,000 prepaid phone customers.

At the WarnerMedia entertainment unit, revenue grew 9.8 percent to $ 8.5 billion. The company does not break down how many people sign up for its streaming service, HBO Max, but said it now has 44.2 million subscribers to either HBO Max or the traditional HBO channel in the US. Entertainment companies have launched several new streaming services over the years as part of an audience effort on Netflix and for traditional TV listeners.

AT&T also signed up 46,000 home internet customers and lost 620,000 video subscribers. AT&T is shutting down its DirecTV business after purchasing DirecTV in 2015, losing about 60 percent of its satellite and cable TV subscriber base.

The Dallas company reported net income of $ 7.55 billion, or $ 1.04 per share, in the first quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, they came in at 86 cents a share, beating an average estimate of 77 cents per share from 16 analysts surveyed by Zedes Investment Research.

Revenue rose 2.7 percent to $ 43.94 billion, raising Wall Street estimates to $ 42.76 billion.

AT&T shares rose more than 5 percent to $ 31.74 in morning trading. The shares had risen nearly 5 percent since the beginning of the year, beginning with Wednesday, while the S&P 500 index has risen 11 percent.