Date
15 December 2018
AT&T is seeking to pare down the huge debt that it accumulated following the Time Warner deal. Photo: Bloomberg
AT&T is seeking to pare down the huge debt that it accumulated following the Time Warner deal. Photo: Bloomberg

AT&T vows to cut up to US$20 bln in debt by end-2019

AT&T said on Thursday that it aims to cut its debt by as much as US$20 billion by the end of next year through a variety of measures, including a review of all of its non-core assets such as its stake in streaming video firm Hulu for possible sale.

At an analyst meeting in New York, the second-largest US wireless carrier by subscribers said it will pay down US$18 billion to US$20 billion of its debt by the end of 2019, and that it aims to generate up to US$8 billion in cash in part through the sale of some assets, Reuters reports. 

The move comes amid growing concerns over the telecoms giant’s huge debt, which totaled US$183 billion as of end-September, following its acquisition of Time Warner, the report noted.

AT&T said it expects 2019 free-cash flow of about US$26 billion, and forecast low-single-digit growth in adjusted earnings per share next year.

The company gave fresh details about a new streaming rival to Netflix that is expected to be launched by the end of 2019 by WarnerMedia, the report said.

The new product will include three tiers of service: an entry-level package focused on movies, a premium tier with original programming, and the highest tier that will include licensed content from other providers.

AT&T said it hopes to eventually lure enough subscribers to make up for the continuous decline in linear video customers from its satellite TV company DirecTV.

AT&T lost a net 359,000 satellite TV customers in the third quarter, as viewers move to services like Netflix and Hulu.

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CG/RC

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