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AT&T expects better results in mobile business in second quarter

The AT&T logo is pictured by its store in Carlsbad, California, April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The AT&T logo is pictured by its store in Carlsbad, California, April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - AT&T Inc expects much better results in its wireless business in the second quarter after a weak start to the year, Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said on Wednesday.

Last month, the No. 2 U.S. mobile provider reported a net loss of 69,000 cellphone subscribers in the first quarter, sparking fears of a slowdown in the market.

But Stephenson said the poor start to the year was something AT&T could improve on. "I don't think we executed very well in the first quarter. It was a bit disappointing to me," he said at an investor conference that was webcast. "You're going to see the second quarter in mobility looking markedly better than the first quarter."

However, he also said the company's services for business customers were having a tough time due to economic factors such as weak employment numbers.

"Businesses are not investing at a very significant pace," he said.

Stephenson said he was interested in expanding AT&T into Europe but suggested this effort was unlikely to involve buying a European telecommunications company.

Asked if there were acquisition opportunities in Europe, he replied, "I don't know. It's a difficult place for that sort of thing."

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by John Wallace)

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