Telecom & Wireless

What to Watch For in Verizon's Q4

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is set to report its most recent quarterly results before the markets open on Tuesday. Thomson Reuters consensus estimates call for $1.09 in earnings per share (EPS) and $34.45 billion in revenue. The fourth quarter of last year reportedly had $0.86 in EPS and $33.95 billion in revenue.

In the most recent quarter, Verizon warned that its Fios TV customers may lose access to ESPN and Disney Channel, among other networks, if it couldn’t reach a new carriage agreement with the Disney. This was the latest fight between media companies over carrying and paying for content.

Verizon sent an e-mail to Fios customers in December after Disney began running ads that Disney-owned networks may no longer be available to Fios subscribers.

Verizon is now the sole telecom giant in the Dow. After a boring −0.8% return in 2017, Verizon managed to rise 6.2% in 2018. Unfortunately, there has been some turnover and underperformance inside of its Oath unit (Yahoo and AOL), but the company still owns and controls some of the nation’s top portals used by millions of Americans each day.

Excluding Monday’s move, Verizon had underperformed the broad markets, with its stock basically flat year to date. However, over the past 52 weeks, the stock is actually up about 4%.

A few analysts weighed in on Verizon ahead of the report:

  • Tigress Financial has a Hold rating.
  • Morgan Stanley has an Equal Weight rating and a $58 price target.
  • JPMorgan has a Neutral rating.
  • Soctiabank has a Buy rating with a $62 price target.
  • Barclays has a Hold rating with a $53 price target.

Shares of Verizon were last seen down about 2% at $55.29, with a consensus analyst price target of $59.06. The stock has a 52-week range of $46.09 to $61.58.