AT&T® recently said that the company would launch a streaming device that will enable customers to sign into DirecTV Now®, Netflix®, or other streaming services and stream their preferred shows on TV. The Telco giant said that it is growing their DirecTV Now® customer base, that it added 329,000 phone customers in 2017 fourth quarter, and that it also reaped benefit from the corporate tax reform.
AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson said in a recent earnings call that the streaming device would be available to the subscribers by this year’s end. He also said that AT&T® would launch a new version of DirecTV Now® streaming device this spring. Once launched, it will enable AT&T® subscribers to record shows on cloud digital video recorder and stream shows on three devices simultaneously.
In the earnings call, Stephenson also said that closing AT&T’s Time Warner® deal this year is of top priority for the Telco giant. The deal comes with ‘a total transaction value’ of $108.7bn, which includes the net debt of Time Warner®. The U.S. Department of Justice has blocked the merger, but the AT&T® CEO said that they are preparing to present its case in court and finalize the Time Warner® acquisition.
The US corporate tax rate reduction is proving to be a windfall for AT&T®, something that reflects on their 2017 Q4 earnings report. The free cash flow of the Telco is set to increase by $3.4bn to around $21bn due to the tax reform last year during the deregulation of 2015’s net neutrality. Following the reform, many of the internet service providers including AT&T® have announced employee bonus of $1000 each for most of the staff. Besides employee bonus, Stephenson has also pledged to use the benefits for an extra $1bn in capital investments.
On the recent earnings meeting, AT&T® executives also said the company would use saved funds in order to decrease debt by paying them off in small amounts just as AT&T® prepares to buy Time Warner® and expand fiber powered internet network nationwide. Stephenson said that AT&T® Fiber has reached 7mn locations and that he expects the figure to double over the course of the next 18 months. On the other hand, DirecTV Now® customer base has also grown since its debut.