Wireless Growth Lifts Verizon in Third Quarter

Boosted by demand for new tablet computers and additional subscribers bound to a contract, Verizon’s wireless business continued to fuel growth in the third quarter. Total wireless revenues rose 7 percent over the previous year to $21.8 billion.

Excluding acquisitions and adjustments, Verizon Wireless added 1.52 million retail postpaid connections to end the quarter with 100.1 million connections. At the end of the third quarter, Verizon Wireless serviced 35.4 million retail postpaid accounts, with 2.8 connections per account.

Most of Verizon’s wireless customers own smartphones, helping the company raise its average revenue per user (ARPU). Retail postpaid ARPU rose 3.5 percent in the third quarter to $161.24 per month, and smartphones now comprise more than three quarters (77 percent) of Verizon’s retail postpaid customer phone base.  

The nation’s largest wireless carrier added 457,000 postpaid phones. But demand for tablet computers like the iPad was much stronger, with the company adding 1.1 million postpaid tablets to its base of serviced devices. In the third quarter, Verizon Wireless added a number of devices to its 4G LTE lineup including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (10.1).

Wireline Business Improving

Although wireline revenues sank 0.8 percent to $9.6 billion, the business is on the mend. According to Verizon, year-over-year quarterly revenues have grown by more than 4 percent for nine consecutive quarters. Led by Verizon’s FiOS services, consumer revenues rose 4.5 percent to $3.9 billion. The FiOS business added 162,000 Internet connections and 114,000 video connections to end the quarter with 6.5 million Internet and 5.5 million video connections.

Global enterprise revenues, however, fell 4.4 percent to $3.38 billion from $3.54 billion a year earlier, while global wholesale revenues declined 4.8 percent to $1.55 billion from $1.63 billion. 

New York-based Verizon reported earnings per share of 89 cents on total operating revenues of $31.6 billion. According to Reuters, analysts had expected a profit of 90 cents per share on revenues of $31.58 billion. In the same period last year, the company reported EPS of 78 cents on operating revenues of $30.3 billion.

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