DALLAS, March 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- John Stephens, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of AT&T Inc.* (NYSE:T), spoke today at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference where he provided an update to shareholders.
Impact of Coronavirus. Stephens briefly discussed AT&T's reaction to the coronavirus. He expressed his sympathy for everyone affected. He said the company is focused on its employees and customers and has taken precautions to help protect their health and safety. He also said the company is applying lessons learned from network disaster recovery efforts in coordinating with the authorities on the response to the virus. Stephens said that while he can't speak on behalf of any specific supplier, the company hasn't seen a significant impact in its supply chain at this point.
Increasing Shareholder Value. Under each of two outstanding accelerated share repurchase (ASR) agreements, AT&T will retire $4 billion of its common stock. Depending on market conditions, the two ASRs, combined with open market repurchases, are expected to bring total common shares retired in 2020 to more than 250 million through April.
Stephens also said the recent addition of preferred equity to its capital structure has been well received. AT&T will also continue to retire debt with the goal of a net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA ratio in the 2.0x to 2.25x range by the end of 2022.
5G and Wireless. Stephens said that AT&T has identified several drivers of wireless momentum in 2020 and is positioned very well to compete in any wireless industry structure. AT&T expects the successful launch of AT&T TV will drive store traffic in addition to bundling opportunities. HBO Max is also a key part of AT&T's strategy; it will enable the company to pair unique premium video content with wireless, pay TV and broadband. Stephens said he expects bundling opportunities will also increase Unlimited plan adoption, with 5G initially available only on AT&T's upper tier Unlimited plans.
Premium TV and HBO Max. Stephens said the company expects AT&T TV to be an important part of AT&T's portfolio of services in 2020.He also said that AT&T's initial focus for the HBO Max streaming platform will be on the domestic launch and securing uptake among existing HBO customers and then expanding to other customers, including via attractive bundling offers. The company has very high expectations for HBO Max, including the possibility of increasing adoption of higher ARPU services and strengthening the long-term value proposition of its highest value customers.
Fiber and Broadband. Stephens said that AT&T has a significant opportunity to grow penetration in its fiber footprint, both with consumers and businesses. The company has seen significantly better bundling rates for broadband with AT&T TV, given the more natural fit with the software-based, broadband-delivered service.
*About AT&T AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a diversified, global leader in telecommunications, media and entertainment, and technology. It executes in the market under four operating units. WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC Entertainment, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. AT&T Communications provides more than 100 million U.S. consumers with entertainment and communications experiences across TV, mobile and broadband services. Plus, it serves nearly 3 million business customers with high-speed, highly secure connectivity and smart solutions. AT&T Latin America provides pay-TV services across 11 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, and is the fastest growing wireless provider in Mexico, serving consumers and businesses. Xandr provides marketers with innovative and relevant advertising solutions for consumers around premium video content and digital advertising through its AppNexus platform.
Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Information set forth in this news release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.
This news release may contain certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations between the non-GAAP financial measures and the GAAP financial measures are available on the company's website at https://investors.att.com.