Verizon Disappoints Wall Street With Profit, Revenue Drops

Dollar down

Verizon reported a more than 16 percent drop in profit and a 5.6 percent drop in operating revenue for the fourth quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2015.

Operating revenue was $32.3 billion, down from $34.2 billion for the year-ago quarter and below analysts’ expectations. Profit was $4.6 billion, down from $5.5 billion for the year-ago quarter.

For the full year, Verizon reported $126 billion in operating revenue, down from $131.6 billion for 2015, and $13.6 billion in profit, down from $18.3 billion.

Verizon added 591,000 net retail postpaid wireless subscribers, excluding wholesale device and wholesale Internet of Things (IoT) connections. That total also was below analysts’ expectations. At the end of the quarter, Verizon had 114.2 million retail connections, a 1.9 percent year-over-year increase.

Wireline revenue was $7.8 billion, a 3.1 percent decrease compared to the year-ago quarter. Wireline operating income was $414 million, compared to $7 million a year ago.

Total revenue for FiOS fiber-optic-based services grew 4.4 percent, to $2.9 billion, compared to third-quarter 2015. Verizon added 68,000 FiOS Internet connections and 21,000 FiOS video connections during the quarter. It ended the year with 5.7 million FiOS Internet connections and 4.7 million FiOS video connections.

“We are positioning Verizon for future growth and continued sustainable shareholder value,” said Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s chairman and CEO. “In the fourth quarter we expanded our customer base in highly competitive wireless and broadband markets. This capped a year in which we delivered solid results and returned value to shareholders, including $9.3 billion in dividends. We enter 2017 with confidence, based on our investments in next-generation networks and the new capabilities we have acquired. Our goal is to continue to earn our customers’ loyalty every day in a rapidly expanding mobile-first digital world.”

IoT revenue, led by telematics, increased 21 percent compared to fourth-quarter 2015, to $243 million. Verizon said it expects to sustain this trend in strong IoT revenue growth. Including acquisitions, IoT revenue increased more than 60 percent in fourth-quarter 2016.

With declines in basic and 3G phones, net phone additions were 167,000 in the fourth quarter, compared to a net decrease of 36,000 in the third quarter. Tablet net additions totaled 196,000 in the fourth quarter.

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