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AT&T logo in New York. Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

AT&T reported positive earnings results for their third quarter Wednesday, beating on revenue and falling slightly short on profits. The company credits its revenue growth to WarnerMedia (its media division that was formerly called Time Warner) and its wireless business.

Why it matters: The results show that WarnerMedia, which grew its revenue by 6.5% year-over-year, may become an opportunity for growth in the short-term for AT&T. The telecom company acquired the media company in June with the intention of building a strong subscription video on-demand business and advertising business long-term.

The details: This was the first earnings report for AT&T after owning WarnerMedia for a full quarter. Earnings highlights include Turner and HBO year-over-year subscription revenue growth and strong Warner Bros. television licensing revenue growth.

  • AT&T's advertising business, Xandr, created in part through the Time Warner acquisition, also performed well. Advertising revenues were up 34%.

Yes, but: Dramatic changes to the media business haven't yet occurred, so earnings should be reflective of positive momentum of Time Warner, prior to the acquisition.

  • Last week the company shut down "Super Deluxe," its comedy production arm, but it has yet to make other sweeping changes.
  • However, executives have indicated that capital reallocations towards its new subscription video product may impact some other business, most likely some of the Turner brand cable channels.

The bigger picture: AT&T's positive earnings outlook from its media acquisition stands in stark contrast to its rival, Verizon's. In its earnings report Tuesday, Verizon suggested that the outlook for Oath, the digital media business it created last year by combining companies like AOL and Yahoo, was not strong and appears flat in the short-term.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.

3 hours ago - World

Olaf Scholz sworn in as German chancellor, succeeding Merkel

Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is sworn in by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas in Berlin today. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was sworn in as chancellor of Germany on Wednesday, succeeding Angela Merkel after 16 years and launching a new era of German and European politics.

Why it matters: Scholz, a center-left pragmatist who served as finance minister and vice chancellor in Merkel's last government, will lead Europe's largest economy in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.

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