AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) reported fourth-quarter results that showed continuing subscriber growth in wireless, fiber, and HBO Max while continuing to reflect strong cash flows and financial strength.
Operating expenses were $165.4 billion in 2020 compared with $153.2 billion in 2019, primarily due to non-cash asset impairments and abandonments that were $17.4 billion higher than in 2019, costs relating to launching and operating HBO Max, higher domestic wireless equipment costs, incremental COVID-19 costs, higher severance charges, and higher subscriber acquisition and fulfillment costs. These increases were partially offset by lower Video and WarnerMedia costs from lower revenues, foreign exchange impacts on Latin America expenses, a one-time spectrum gain and cost efficiencies.
Operating expenses were $56.4 billion versus $41.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. Expenses increased due to higher non-cash asset impairments and abandonments (including $15.5 billion for the Video business), higher domestic wireless equipment costs and higher HBO Max investments. These increases were partially offset by lower Video and Warner Bros. costs associated with lower revenues and foreign exchange impacts on Latin America expenses.