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AT&T Falls Shy of Analyst Estimates as Discounts Cut Margins

AT&T Inc., the largest U.S. phone company, posted profit that fell just below analysts’ estimates as costs rose for smartphone discounts used to persuade more customers to sign long-term contracts.

Second-quarter earnings were 67 cents a share, leaving out one-time items, Dallas-based AT&T said yesterday in a statement. Analysts had estimated earnings of 68 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 1.6 percent to $32.1 billion, topping the average estimate of $31.8 billion.