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Analysis of Revenues

Difficulty: Advanced


Revenue Recognition Accounting Policy

Revenues derived from wireless, fixed telephone, data and video services are recognized when services are provided. This is based upon either usage (e.g., minutes of traffic/bytes of data processed), period of time (e.g., monthly service fees) or other established fee schedules. AT&T's service revenues are billed either in advance, arrears or are prepaid.

AT&T records revenue reductions for estimated future adjustments to customer accounts at the time revenue is recognized based on historical experience. AT&T reports revenues from transactions between AT&T and the customers net of taxes. Cash incentives given to customers are recorded as a reduction of revenue. Revenues related to nonrefundable, upfront service activation and setup fees are deferred and recognized over the associated service contract period or customer life. Revenue recognized from contracts that bundle services and equipment is limited to the lesser of the amount allocated based on the relative selling price of the equipment and service already delivered or the amount paid and owed by the customer for the equipment and service already delivered. Service revenues also include billings to AT&T's customers for various regulatory fees imposed on AT&T by governmental authorities. AT&T records the sale of equipment to customers when AT&T no longer has any requirements to perform, title has passed and the products are accepted by customers. AT&T records the sale of equipment and services to customers as gross revenue when AT&T is the principal in the arrangement and net of the associated costs incurred when AT&T is not considered the principal.

AT&T offers the customers the option to purchase certain wireless devices in installments over a specified period of time and, in many cases, once certain conditions are met, they may be eligible to trade in the original equipment for a new device and have the remaining unpaid balance paid or settled. For customers that elect these equipment installment payment programs, AT&T recognizes revenue for the entire amount of the customer receivable, net of fair value of the trade-in right guarantee and imputed interest.

Source: AT&T Inc., Annual Report


Revenues as Reported

AT&T Inc., Income Statement, Revenues

USD $ in millions

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12 months ended Dec 31, 2017 Dec 31, 2016 Dec 31, 2015 Dec 31, 2014 Dec 31, 2013
Business Solutions hidden hidden hidden hidden hidden
Entertainment Group hidden hidden hidden hidden hidden
Consumer Mobility hidden hidden hidden hidden hidden
International hidden hidden hidden hidden hidden
Segment Total hidden hidden hidden hidden hidden
Corporate and Other hidden hidden hidden hidden hidden
Acquisition-related items hidden hidden hidden hidden hidden
Certain significant items hidden hidden hidden hidden hidden
Revenues hidden hidden hidden hidden hidden

Source: AT&T Inc. Annual Reports

Item Description The company
Revenues Aggregate revenue recognized during the period (derived from goods sold, services rendered, insurance premiums, or other activities that constitute an entity's earning process). For financial services companies, also includes investment and interest income, and sales and trading gains. AT&T Inc.'s revenues increased from 2015 to 2016 but then slightly declined from 2016 to 2017.