AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) released its earnings report for the three months April to June this afternoon after the close of market in New York. The company showed earnings of 67 cents per share for the three month period on revenue of $32.1 billion. On today’s market stock in AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) trended upward, finishing the day at $35.81 per share.

AT&T Wireless

In the same quarter of 2012, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) earned 66 cents per share on revenue totaling $31.6 billion. Analysts following the wireless carrier  were looking for earnings of 68 cents per share for the three months on revenue totaling $31.8 billion.

2013 troubles and ‘leap’ forwards

So far in 2013 shares in AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) have risen by just over 6%. The company has not performed poorly so far in 2013, but the company has underperformed most of its rivals in the first half of the year. The industry is in the midst of massive structural changes, and AT&T seems to be lagging behind at the outset.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has, however, been at the forefront of the change in the wireless industry in 2013. Just a couple of weeks ago the company announced a plan to buy the smaller carrier Leap Wireless International, Inc. (NASDAQ:LEAP). Consolidation in the wireless industry is being pushed by the relative rarity of spectrum, which is the lifeblood of the wireless industry.

The major rival to AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), has gained more than 16% in value so far in 2013, making the gain in value at AT&T look less than attractive. The battle between the two companies is going to be frenzied in the coming years, and it will be fought violently by the smaller companies in the industry.

Rivals swelling

T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS), the result of a recent merger between MetroPCS and T-Mobile, is working on a strategy to become a major character in the United States while Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) is hoping that new money from Japanese firm Softbank Corp (TYO:9984) (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) will allow it to battle with the same resources as the two companies at the top.

The wireless industry is a difficult and capital intensive one, as this earnings report demonstrates. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) might not have given the best returns to shareholders so far in 2013, but it might perform better in the latter half of the year as its wireless strategy comes together, and its offerings increase in quality.