AT&T's traditional TV set to tank in Q3

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On a break-even day for the stock market, AT&T shares are getting hammered after the company divulged it expects to report a loss of 390,000 video subscribers in the third quarter, renewing concerns about the wages of cord-cutting.

Shares fell 0.3% in after-hours trading to $38.09.

The No. 2 US wireless carrier, which owns satellite television service DirecTV, said in a filing on Wednesday that it lost 90,000 USA video subscribers in the quarter due to intense competition in traditional pay TV markets and the impact of the recent hurricanes.

The figure is higher than Wells Fargo analysts' estimate of 200,000 net adds for the OTT service; however AT&T's estimate of 90,000 total video net losses is higher than the 50,000 net losses forecast by the firm.

The analyst's co-founder, Craig Moffett, said there were four main important takeaways from AT&T's video guidance.

Commenting on an 8-K form - a current report United States companies must file with the country's stock exchange to announce major events that shareholders should know about - filed after close of business on 11 October, analyst MoffettNathanson has sounded the alarm on what is a significant trend in the company's video business. "But it is certainly also the case that the weaker the numbers get, the less AT&T would want more of the same". The decline of traditional video subscribers negatively hit Entertainment Group revenues and margins, which means the adjusted operating profit margin will be essentially flat year-on-year. Cable company Comcast Corp (O:) said in September it expected to lose up to 150,000 video subscribers in the third quarter, citing the same reasons. Deutsche Bank's Niknam noted accelerating competition from Dish's Sling service, Sony Corp's (T:) PlayStation Vue and others.

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