AT&T Estimates 300K DirecTV Now Adds for Q3

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In a third-quarter media industry forecast released today, Doug Mitchelson of UBS said he expects pay-TV subscriptions overall to decline 0.9% in the quarter compared with the same period past year, even with the first and second quarters.

As more customers cut their cable and turn to streaming services, Dallas-based AT&T says it expects to lose about 390,000 traditional pay-TV subscribers this quarter, according to financial documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected AT&T to report adjusted earnings of 76 cents a share in the third quarter.

In the three months to the end of September the group saw its DIRECTV NOW service add around 300,000 (net) customers, but total United States video subscribers were down about 90,000. "Contrary to consensus, we believe cord-cutting remains quite stable", he wrote. Moffett also projects heavy video losses for Dish Network.

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AT&T Inc said on Wednesday that its third-quarter results took a hit from a string of hurricanes that tore into parts of the United states and earthquakes in Mexico.

AT&T warned that the drop in traditional video subs will hurt its revenues and margins. The carrier still reiterated its full-year 2017 guidance for mid-single digit adjusted earnings growth, adjusted consolidated operating margin expansion, capex of about Dollars 22 billion, and free cash flow at the low end of the USD 18 billion range. AT&T and Time Warner are said to be expecting formal word from the Justice Department on its review of the $85.4 billion merger by mid-November.

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