Friday, March 5, 2021

SEC charges AT&T with disclosing insider information

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged AT&T and three of its Investor Relations executives with selectively disclosing material nonpublic information to research analysts.

According to the SEC's complaint, the disclosure of insider information occurred in in March 2016 when AT&T became aware that a steeper-than-expected decline in its first quarter smartphone sales would cause AT&T's revenue to fall short of analysts' estimates for the quarter. 

The SEC is charging AT&T Investor Relations executives Christopher Womack, Michael Black, and Kent Evans with making private, one-on-one phone calls to analysts at approximately 20 separate firms. The complaint further alleges that as a result of what they were told on these calls, the analysts substantially reduced their revenue forecasts, leading to the overall consensus revenue estimate falling to just below the level that AT&T ultimately reported to the public on April 26, 2016.