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AT&T beat investors' expectations with strong wireless subscriber growth and its lowest-ever fourth-quarter subscriber cancellation rate.

What stands out: Despite the set-back of the Justice Department challenging its acquisition of Time Warner Inc., AT&T had some big wins in Washington in 2016, with the new tax law giving a major boost to its bottom line.

  • The Republican tax law lowered its tax rate from nearly 33% to 21%. AT&T said last month it would give $1,000 bonuses to more than 200,000 employees due to the bill, and would spend $1 billion in additional investment in the U.S.

On Time Warner: AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said, "we look forward to presenting our case in court and closing the deal."

Legacy losses: AT&T reported $41.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, compared to $41.8 billion for the year-ago quarter. The slight drop was due to declines in legacy services and domestic video. AT&T said those losses were mostly offset by growth in wireless equipment and international business.

Thanks in part to the tax cuts, AT&T reported $19 billion in reported fourth-quarter net income, or $3.08 per diluted share. That's compared to $2.4 billion, or $0.39 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 19,680,042 — Total deaths: 727,777 — Total recoveries — 11,962,565Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,002,523 — Total deaths: 162,455 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Nancy Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on employment — Trump adviser Larry Kudlow says he regrets suggesting the benefits could only be extended by Congress.
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — Poll: 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Schools: Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral — How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.