AT&T's wireless division, Cingular Wireless, reported that its fourth-quarter profits more than tripled with the addition of a record 2.4 million net subscribers. Profits rose to $782 million from $204 million a year earlier. The nation's biggest mobile-phone carrier in terms of customers ended the quarter with 61 million customers while reporting a 10.2% increase in revenue to $9.8 billion. Reuters estimates were for Cingular to add just 1.62 subscribers. Average monthly revenue per subscriber rose while the percentage of customers who cancel service (called 'churn') fell to 1.8% from 2.1% in the year-earlier period. AT&T is currently in the midst of a campaign to rebrand Cingular 'AT&T Wireless.'
• Sources: Press Release, MarketWatch, Reuters
• Related commentary: AT&T Undertakes Major Campaign To Rebrand Cingular 'AT&T Wireless', Time For Wireless Carriers to 'Unlock' Customer Handsets
• Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: AT&T Inc. (T). Competitors: Sprint Nextel Corp. (S), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), Vodafone (VOD), Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q). ETFs: iShares S&P Global Telecom ETF (IXP), iShares Dow Jones U.S. Telecom Sector Index ETF (IYZ), PowerShares Dynamic Telecom & Wireless ETF (PTE), PowerShares FTSE RAFI Telecommunications & Technology Portfolio (PRFQ), Vanguard Telecom Services ETF (VOX), Telecom HOLDRS ETF (TTH)
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