Randall Stephenson, the incoming CEO of AT&T, provided investors with a glimpse of AT&T’s future direction on Wednesday, as he confirmed that foreign expansion would play a key role in the company’s quest for growth. Currently the COO of AT&T, Stephenson is slated to assume the reins of leadership from longtime AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre, who is retiring on June 3. Speaking to an audience at the Lehman Brothers Worldwide Wireless and Wireline Conference on Wednesday, Stephenson touted AT&T’s strengths within the U.S., where the company operates the nation’s largest wireless provider (known formerly as Cingular Wireless) and where AT&T is signing up subscribers for its new U-Verse IP video service at the rate of 500 per day. With respect to AT&T’s domestic network facilities, Stephenson said “we have the assets now that we need to compete effectively across the industry,” as he added that the challenge facing AT&T is “about operating excellence . . . more than industrytransforming transactions.” Stephenson confirmed, however, that AT&T will be seeking new growth in foreign markets, as he observed that, “internationally, there might be . . . opportunities over time that will enhance our international product set and capabilities.” Citing AT&T’s recent failed bid for control of Telecom Italia, Stephenson told his listeners that “those opportunities will always be attractive to us.”