AT&T To Settle SEC Lawsuit For Sharing Confidential Information With Analysts

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  • AT&T Inc T looked to settle a regulatory lawsuit for allegedly disclosing nonpublic financial information with analysts leading them to slash their estimates and enabling the company to beat sales expectations.
  • AT&T agreed to pay the SEC $6.25 million as a penalty without admitting or denying wrongdoing, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Three AT&T executives, Christopher WomackKent Evans and Michael Black, have agreed to each pay a $25,000 penalty. The SEC alleged that these executives were involved in violating Regulation FD and made private calls to analysts at about 20 firms
  • The SEC filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court in March 2021.
  • Regulators alleged the executives shared nonpublic sales information with 20 analysts who covered the company and periodically issued estimates for AT&T’s financial performance. 
  • The executives wanted analysts to lower quarterly estimates as the employees knew quarterly consolidated gross revenue would miss market expectations.
  • The report states the SEC accused AT&T and the three investor relations executives back in 2021 of leaking details about its smartphone business to 20 firms.
  • The SEC alleged that the analysts “promptly” adjusted their revenue estimates, leading to a lowered consensus estimate, which AT&T beat when it announced earnings in April 2016.
  • AT&T held $2.4 billion in cash and equivalents as of September 30, 2022.
  • Price Action: T shares closed lower by 1.5% at 18.74 on Monday.
  • Photo by Tdorante10 via Wikimedia Commons
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