John Stephens, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), spoke last week at the Morgan Stanley European Tech, Media and Telecommunications Conference where he provided an update to shareholders.
Stephens said strong cash generation and disciplined capital allocation give AT&T financial strength and flexibility to invest in growth in its market-based priorities of fiber, 5G and HBO Max while simultaneously meeting its existing financial commitments. The company has refinanced more than $60 billion of debt at historically low rates and now has about $30 billion of debt coming due through 2025. AT&T expects 2020 full-year free cash flow of $26 billion or higher. The company also continues to expect gross capital investment in the $20 billion range for 2021.
Network quality driven by significant investments in 5G and fiber helped support strong wireless financial and operational results and healthy broadband trends in the third quarter, according to Stephens. In addition, the company believes that its recent and anticipated network investments will bolster AT&T’s network foundation to compete as the need for high-quality connectivity continues to increase.
Looking forward, Stephens indicated that AT&T’s integrated fiber strategy is expected to improve the company’s connectivity offering for both consumer and enterprise markets and enhance its 5G network quality in a cost-efficient manner.
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