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Healthy AT&T Cuts Local Jobs

September 8, 2008

By George Avalos

SAN RAMON — AT&T Inc. has decided to eliminate 174 jobs in its operations here, the company confirmed Wednesday, but the communications colossus remains robust, its latest financial results and analysts indicate.

In addition, AT&T has decided to cut 266 jobs in San Diego. The combined losses in California of 440 jobs were detailed in an AT&T filing with state labor officials.

“We are constantly adjusting our head count, primarily to get more employees into our growth areas like wireless and home video,” Steven Smith, an AT&T spokesman, said in an e-mail response to inquires from this newspaper.

During 2007, AT&T hired 52,000 new workers to replace attrition and for newly created jobs, Smith said The company also shifted thousands more employees within the business to new jobs, he added.

“At the same time, there are other parts of our business that are not growing or where we can benefit from efficiencies,” Smith said.

The job cuts in San Ramon included AT&T’s information technology operations, as well as the company’s global network field operations, according to the government filing.

In San Diego, the units affected included AT&T’s global network operations, customer information services and consumer information technology.

The East Bay staff reductions were related “almost entirely” to managers, Smith said. In April, AT&T said it intended to reduce its nationwide work force by about 4,500.

Overall, the company appears to be in good shape.

Wednesday, AT&T reported second-quarter profits of $3.77 billion, a 30 percent increase from the year before. Revenue totaled $30.9 billion, a 4.7 percent increase.

Wireless sales jumped 16 percent, and the company added 1.33 million wireless customers in the April-June period. Those successes helped AT&T to offset a loss of 993,000 lines that were dropped by residential customers in the second quarter.

Results for the wireless operation could be bolstered by sales of Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 3G. That device began selling after the second quarter ended.

Some analysts offered relatively favorable assessments of AT&T, although they also were concerned about some setbacks for the company in the recent quarter.

The company added 46,000 broadband service customers in the second quarter, which was well below Morgan Stanley’s estimate of 266,000 additions.

“AT&T reported solid overall second-quarter results, particularly relative to increasingly pessimistic expectations,” William Power, an analyst with Robert W. Baird Ltd., stated in a research note.

Smith pointed out that AT&T has 307,000 workers.

“We remain one of America’s largest employers,” Smith said. “And we are putting jobs where our customers are.”

George Avalos covers jobs, economic development, commercial real estate, finance and oil companies. Reach him at 925-977-8477 or gavalos@bayareanewsgroup.com

Originally published by George Avalos , Staff Writer.

(c) 2008 Oakland Tribune. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.




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