DALLAS, December 05, 2023

John Stankey Updates Shareholders at the 2023 UBS Global Media & Communications Conference

As part of AT&T’s multiyear strategy to drive sustainable and profitable growth, the company detailed how it will accelerate network innovation, efficiency and structural cost improvement across the largest wireless network in North America1


Key Takeaways:

  • AT&T continues to execute its sustainable long-term growth strategy. The company is on track to generate full-year free cash flow of about $16.5 billion, and achieve its goal of 2.5x net-debt to adjusted EBITDA in the first half of 2025.
  • As one of the largest investors in the United States, the company remains focused on building vital digital infrastructure for both mobile and fiber networks. To support these efforts, the company expects 2024 capital investment in the $21-22 billion range.
  • AT&T is making a critical investment in its wireless future and accelerating the transition to Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN) through its collaboration with Ericsson. By scaling an Open RAN environment, this will enable a more robust supplier ecosystem, and drive efficiencies and longer-term cost savings. More on this announcement here.
  • Based on returns from fiber coming in better than initial assumptions, AT&T now sees an opportunity to potentially pass an incremental 10 to 15 million consumer and business fiber locations within its existing footprint – assuming similar build parameters and a regulatory environment that remains attractive to building infrastructure. The company remains committed to its existing 30 million-plus target of consumer and business fiber locations passed by the end of 2025. 

John Stankey, chief executive officer, AT&T* (NYSE:T) Inc., spoke today at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference where he provided an update to shareholders. Stankey made the following key points:

The company’s focus on leading in connectivity, is working.

  • Stankey reiterated that AT&T continues to benefit from the focused strategy it laid out three years ago – to be the best broadband connectivity provider in America. By executing a consistent playbook, the company is powering customer growth, improving returns and enabling additional investments that are benefiting the business today.
  • AT&T’s simple and consistent go-to-market approach continues to resonate with customers and has created a sustainable model for healthy growth and strong cash conversion.
  • The company successfully invested around $100 billion in capital investment and spectrum in America’s infrastructure, while also lowering net debt by approximately $20 billion over the three-year period that ended with the second quarter of 2023.

AT&T is on track for 2023 full-year free cash flow of about $16.5 billion.

  • The company remains confident in its ability to deliver free cash flow of about $16.5 billion this year.
  • Stankey reiterated the company remains focused on driving incremental efficiencies with an additional $2 billion-plus in savings by mid-2026. This is largely driven by sunsetting legacy products and supporting infrastructure. The company also continues to see benefits from the deployment of AI to better serve customers. 
  • The company remains on track to reduce net debt and to achieve a leverage target of 2.5x net-debt to adjusted EBITDA in the first half of 2025. Additionally, AT&T remains in a strong position to pay for the next two years of debt maturity towers as they come due with cash on hand, given 95% plus of its debt is fixed at an average rate of 4.2% with a weighted average maturity of 16 years.

AT&T remains focused on growing durable relationships with high-quality 5G & fiber customers.

  • Stankey highlighted that AT&T is uniquely positioned to take advantage of its owned and operated scaled wireless and fiber networks. Unlike others in the industry, the company realizes economic benefit from both wireless and fiber when it adds converged subscribers.
  • Stankey shared that demand remains healthy and as a result, the company expects sequential postpaid phone net add growth. The company expects continued fiber customer additions that reflect normal fourth quarter seasonality.
  • AT&T’s connectivity toolkit includes multiple technologies, including 5G, fiber and the company’s fixed wireless access product – AT&T Internet Air – which is now available in parts of 34 markets. Stankey shared the company continues to take a measured approach with consumer fixed wireless access offerings and views the service as an attractive connectivity option for businesses nationwide.

AT&T is investing in the future of America’s connectivity.

  • AT&T is focused on becoming America’s best connectivity provider and remains on track with all of its 5G and fiber network expansion commitments. AT&T mid-band 5G spectrum is now available nationwide, covering more than 200 million people – another step to expand the most reliable 5G network2.

The webcast of Stankey’s conversation is available for replay at AT&T Investor Relations.

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