AT&T Inc. shares /zigman2/quotes/203165245/composite T -3.69% were down 0.9% in premarket trading Wednesday after the media and telecommunications giant posted better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter but fell short on the top line. The company recorded net income of $2.4 billion, or 33 cents a share, compared with $4.9 billion, or 66 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. After adjusting for merger-related expenses and other items, earnings per share grew to 89 cents from 86 cents a year earlier, while analysts surveyed by FactSet had been projecting 87 cents. AT&T posted consolidated revenue of $46.8 billion, compared with $48 billion a year ago, whereas analysts were modeling $47 billion. AT&T said its revenue would have been about $48 billion excluding its HBO Max investment. For the full year, the company reaffirmed its revenue forecast for 1% to 2% growth. AT&T also continues to expect $3.60 to $3.70 in earnings per share, including its HBO Max investment. AT&T shares have gained 1.4% over the past three months as the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -4.42% has risen 7.9%.
An earlier headline misstated the direction of AT&T's premarket stock move after the results.