Telecom & Wireless

Is Verizon's Earnings Beat That Impressive?

Chris Lange

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Friday. The telecom giant posted $1.25 in earnings per share (EPS) and $32.9 billion in revenue, while consensus estimates had called for $1.24 in EPS and $32.75 billion in revenue. Last year’s third quarter reportedly had $1.22 in EPS and $32.61 billion in revenue.

Verizon Consumer revenues for the latest quarter were $22.7 billion, an increase of 1.4% year over year, driven by continued strong growth in wireless service revenue and Fios service offerings, offset by declines in wireless equipment and legacy wireline services. There were 193,000 retail postpaid net additions, including 239,000 phone net additions.

Verizon Business revenues were $7.9 billion, flat year over year, as growth in wireless service revenue and high-quality fiber products was offset by declines in legacy wireline products. There were 408,000 retail postpaid net additions, including 205,000 phone net additions.

In terms of the Wireless and Wireline segment breakdown within the business and consumer segments. Verizon reported the following:

  • Wireless revenues grew 2.6% year over year to $23.6 billion, driven by a 2.7% increase in service revenue. The segment recorded 601,000 retail postpaid net additions, including 615,000 postpaid smartphone net additions, and 444,000 phone net additions, an increase from the 295,000 phone net additions in second-quarter 2018.
  • Wireline revenues totaled $7.1 billion, with 36,000 Fios Internet net additions. Fios total revenue growth was 3.8% year over year.

Looking ahead to the full year, Verizon expects to see EPS growth in the low-single-digit percentage range. Consensus estimates call for $4.81 in EPS and $131.35 billion in revenue for the year.

Hans Vestberg, board chair and chief executive, commented:

Verizon continued its momentum in the third quarter by driving strong wireless volumes in both our Consumer and Business segments, while delivering solid financial results, highlighted by continued wireless service revenue growth, increased cash flow, and EPS growth. We are focused on our 5G rollout strategy, looking to deploy next-generation networks while enhancing our industry-leading 4G LTE network. Going into the fourth quarter, we are energized by the strong performance of the business and we are confident in our strategy to drive value for our customers and growth for our shareholders.

Shares of Verizon were down less than 1% at $60.26 Friday morning, in a 52-week range of $52.28 to $61.58. The consensus price target is $61.04.