AT&T warns of massive Q4 charges

NEW YORK Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:40pm EST

NEW YORK Jan 17 (Reuters) - AT&T Inc warned on Thursday that it will take a fourth quarter charge of about $10 billion related to its pension plan and also said results would be hurt by higher than expected smartphone costs and damage due to Superstorm Sandy.

The telephone company said the pension charge related to an actuarial loss of about $12 billion, which was partially offset by an asset gain of about $1.9 billion.

But despite the gain, it said it lowered its expected long-term rate of return due to the continued uncertainty in the securities markets and the U.S. economy in 2013. It said the pension loss will not affect its operating results or margins.