Verizon wireless pulled up earnings, AT&T media held back profits. Both cut back capital spending, once more proving the "High cost of 5G" is a myth. Meanwhile, the prices of wireless service in the U.S. are going up as competition weakens.
The stock market response was extreme. By the end of the day, AT&T was down 8%, about US$20 billion. During the last year, Verizon is up 17% and AT&T down 13%. The difference is about US$60 billion. AT&T clearly overpaid for DirecTV & TimeWarner, given the realities of the business, but I wouldn't estimate US$60 billion.
Craig Moffett's take is that AT&T (and Sprint) are in thrall to the bondholders while Verizon and T-Mobile are delivering growth because that's what the stock market demands. His analysis today was devastating, including speculation T might have to cut the dividend for the first time in 30 years. "AT&T is prioritizing margins and cash flow over revenue and subscriber growth. ...Virtually every single part of legacy AT&T is shrinking. There are holes in every part of the story."