(Bloomberg) — AT&T Inc. shares hit a 12-year low Tuesday after Jeff McElfresh, the company’s chief executive officer of communications, told investors at a conference that he expects customer growth to slow in 2022.
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The surge in new customers this year, fueled in part by free phone offers and slightly higher consumer spending, will probably cool off next year, McElfresh said at the event hosted by Wells Fargo & Co.
“There’s no doubt that the stimulus programs have put some extra cash into household budgets,” McElfresh said. “And so we’re not expecting that level of activity to continue into 2022 and beyond.”
The executive, who leads the company’s wireless and landline business, added that AT&T would take “more than our fair share” of growth in mobile services over the next two to three years.
AT&T shares fell 4.4% to $22.83 at the close of regular trading in New York. The comments also sent mobile peers Verizon Communications Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. down about 2.7% and 4%, respectively.
(Updates with closing share price in last paragraph.)
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