AT&T full-year earnings forecast misses estimates

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AT&T full-year earnings forecast misses estimates
Credit: © Reuters. -- AT&T (NYSE: T ) has unveiled a forecast for annual income that missed analyst estimates, as the telecommunications group flagged that it will write down the value of some older equipment.

The Texas-based company said it expects to deliver adjusted earnings per share of $2.15 to $2.25 in its current fiscal year, missing Bloomberg consensus analyst estimates of $2.44.

Shares in AT&T edged lower in premarket U.S. trading on Wednesday.

The firm warned that full-year profit will be dented by higher depreciation expenses linked to equipment supplied by Nokia (HE: NOKIA ), as AT&T continues to transition to ORAN -- or open radio access network -- technology. ORAN, which utilizes cloud-based software and gear from a selection of suppliers instead of proprietary equipment from a range of companies that is not compatible with each other, is anticipated to help drive down costs at telecom operators.

AT&T agreed to a $14 billion, five-year deal with Ericsson (BS: ERICAs ) in December to help build out ORAN technology in North America.

In the fourth quarter, paying wireless subscribers additions at AT&T came in at 526,000, beating projections of 490,528. Revenue grew by 2.2% versus the corresponding period last year to $32 billion, just above expectations, while free cash flow of $6.4 billion also topped Wall Street estimates. Analysts at Citi said in a note that they took a "positive view" of the quarterly results.

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