AT&T CEO John Stankey Updates Shareholders
In discussing the company’s priorities since he became CEO last year, Stankey said AT&T has now successfully restructured its asset base to position its largest remaining entities – AT&T Communications and WarnerMedia – to better capitalize on the long-term structural tailwinds of each of their respective markets. Following the close of the WarnerMedia-Discovery transaction, Stankey believes AT&T Communications and Warner Bros. Discovery will each have the right scale, capital structure and asset base to lead their respective industries.
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The company is pleased with early momentum in its strategic areas of focus underscored by continued strength in 5G, fiber and HBO Max subscribers. However, to deliver on the long-term benefits of management’s vision, Stankey recognizes that the company must continue to consistently execute, innovate, drive out additional costs and build upon its recent market momentum to improve its value proposition across all of its customer segments.
In AT&T’s wireless unit, customers have been receptive to the company’s simplified and consistent go-to-market strategy combined with its network quality. AT&T’s network is performing as well as ever, recently winning recognition as the Nation’s Best 5G Network1 and, for the fourth straight year, America’s Best Wireless Network2 overall. This has helped drive improved subscriber growth trends and lower churn, indicating that customers are happy with the combination of service and network quality AT&T delivers. AT&T expects to continue to invest — and has the ability to accelerate that investment if warranted — to deliver 5G capabilities to its expanding customer base, particularly as new applications and use cases for the technology emerge.
AT&T continues to deploy fiber across its wired footprint and remains confident in its ability to reach about 2.5 million incremental customer locations passed by the end of 2021. As previously noted, AT&T has experienced some disruption in its supply chain. However, the company now believes this has been addressed and remains comfortable with its long-term guidance to reach 30 million locations by the end of 2025. Stankey believes AT&T’s multi-year investment plan will give the company a competitive advantage as it deploys technology that delivers 25X faster upload speeds than cable.3