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Cingular Posts Mixed Results After AT&T Wireless Deal

Wireless operator claims a large increase in new subscribers but said that costs related to AT&T Wireless acquisition caused its financial results to sag.

Cingular Wireless claimed Monday that it doubled the number of new subscribers it gained in the fourth quarter of 2004 but reported mixed financial results.

The company closed the deal to acquire AT&T Wireless on October 26. It said that it added a net of 1.8 million new subscribers in the quarter, which doubled the number of new subscribers both from the previous quarter and the same quarter a year ago. The company said it included new subscribers added by AT&T Wireless for the first 25 days of that month.

Overall, Cingular now claims 49.1 million subscribers, making it the largest wireless operator in the U.S. It also claimed in a statement that it is ahead of schedule in terms of integrating AT&T Wireless and that the acquisition is meeting Cingular's expectations.

"The merger is working, and it is everything we had hoped it would be," Cingular CEO Stan Sigman said in a statement. "We developed a thorough, disciplined integration plan to follow through on our acquisition of AT&T Wireless. Our execution of that plan has been crisp, with all initiatives on or ahead of schedule. And customers have responded very positively,

However, the company reported revenues of $8.1 billion, a slight 1.8 percent increase compared to the same quarter a year ago. It also registered a decrease in average revenue per user (ARPU), from $49.67 to $49.22. ARPU is one of the key metrics used by analysts when determining the performance of wireless operators.

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