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AT&T Confident Of Outlook, To Buy Back Addl. $4 Bln Shares; Plans Cost Savings

AT&T Inc. (T) announced late Tuesday that it remains confident in achieving its 2020 and long-term guidance. The telecom giant also announced an additional $4 billion accelerated share repurchase agreement.

AT&T added that it has identified 10 categories of cost initiatives over the short-, mid- and long-term targeting double-digit billions of dollars in gross savings over the next three years.

At the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, John Stankey, president and chief operating officer of AT&T and CEO, Warner Media LLC, updated the company's developments to its shareholders.

Regarding 5G and wireless trends, Stankey said the company plans to have nationwide 5G coverage by the end of the second quarter of 2020. As of the end of February, AT&T's 5G network covers more than 80 million people.

Based on expected 5G growth and HBO Max opportunities, mobility will continue to be the biggest driver of revenue growth and profitability.

AT&T also expects FirstNet to contribute to wireless revenue growth. The company expects wireless service revenues to grow by more than 2 percent in 2020.

Further, Stankey said the company is still on track for a May launch of HBO Max. At the time of the launch, more than 10 million HBO subscribers on AT&T distribution platforms will get immediate access to HBO Max.

The company also said it intends to use 50 percent to 70 percent of free cash flow after dividends to retire about 70 percent of the shares it issued to fund the acquisition of Time Warner — now WarnerMedia — by the end of 2022.

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