stock plunged by 10%, its biggest percentage drop in more than two decades, after the company’s first-quarter earnings release on Thursday. A key concern: Free cash flow was far lower than expected.
Free cash, of course, is a crucial foundation for paying a company’s dividend. And for AT&T (ticker:T), which yields 6.1%, the dividend is a key selling point to the company’s investor base. First-quarter free cash totaled $1 billion, against a $2 billion quarterly payout for dividends.