Telecom & Wireless

Is the Earnings Bar Set Lower for Verizon Than AT&T?

Both Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) are set to report their earnings this week, and analysts have been gearing up for this. Verizon reports first in the week on Tuesday, before the markets open, followed by AT&T on Thursday, after the markets close.

Verizon has consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that call for earnings per share (EPS) of $1.01 and $32.45 billion in revenue. In the same period of the previous year, it reported EPS of $0.91 on $31.48 billion in revenue.

Streaming content on mobile devices has been a huge trend in the market in recent years. We have seen the likes of Facebook introduce video ads in its platform, or even Google introduce them on YouTube. Verizon is now getting in the game with its most recent deal. The company announced a multiyear content licensing agreement with Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (NYSE: SNI), which is one of the world’s leading developers of lifestyle video content. This is in conjunction with Verizon’s mobile first video offering.

A few analysts weighed in on Verizon ahead of its earnings:

  • Verizon was started as Neutral at Buckingham, with a $51 price target.
  • Citigroup reiterated a Neutral rating with a $51 price target.
  • JPMorgan downgraded Verizon to Neutral with a $55 price target.

Credit Suisse believes that Verizon continues to downplay its interest in Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) and is firm in its belief that densification is more prudent than some recent spectrum auction prices.

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According to Credit Suisse, Verizon also seemed to be comfortable with current wireless industry trends. Its management reiterated that it has little interest in Dish and that the company firmly believes that it has a long runway to add capacity through densification, at a lower cost than prices paid at the AWS-3 auction.

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