AT&T shares fell to the lowest level in more than a decade, amid the company’s shift in focus from media assets to telecoms and lower payout ratios ahead of its third quarter earnings.
AT&T has sold key media assets, including DirecTV, and planned the $43 billion merger of its media division with Discovery. It is focusing on becoming a purely telecoms group.
The company announced this spring that its dividend payout ratio, which was around 63% in the first quarter, will be "re-sized" to reflect the distribution of WarnerMedia assets into a new company. The remaining AT&T assets will target a dividend payout ratio of between 40% and 43%, based on anticipated free cash flow of around $20 billion.
AT&T will publish its third quarter earnings on October 21. Analysts are currently expecting adjusted EPS of 78 cents on revenues of $39.45 billion.