Verizon Adds Nearly 1M Postpaid Customers, But Analysts Aren't Impressed
July 18, 2013 6:00 PM
comment(s) - last by
30 percent rise in profit was overshadowed by revenue growth miss
Under the shadow of the
U.S. National Security Agency
and reports that it
is exploring a buyout of its joint venture
with Vodafone Group Plc (
), Verizon Communications Inc. (
[PDF] an impressive quarter of earnings. But in lieu of heady investor expectations even these strong results were viewed as "a miss".
I. LTE, Post-Paid Adds Continue Strong Growth
Outside of the wireless carrier business, which it owns a 51 percent stake in (with Vodafone holding the remaining 49 percent), Verizon grew
its wireline revenue
by 9.4 percent. Over 140,000 fiber-optic (FiOS) video customers and 161,000 FiOS internet customers were added for the quarter.
On the wireless side of the fence, Verizon is continuing to fire on all cylinders thanks to its popular shared-data pricing plans and U.S.-leading
4G LTE network
. For the quarter Verizon spent $1.5B USD on capital expenses, which include network expansion and maintenance, just slightly less than the $1.6B USD it spent a year before.
Verizon's LTE network now blankets virtually the whole country, serving 500 markets and roughly 301 million Americans. That means that in a number of markets unserved by AT&T, Inc.'s (
) 4G LTE network, Verizon is the only true 4G solution at present. Even Alaska is now being served by Verizon's LTE network, which covers 99 percent of its 3G footprint.
Verizon Wireless continues to lead the nation in LTE coverage and subscribers.
[Image Source: Julie Jacobson/AP]
Overall, 31.1 million LTE devices were purchased during the quarter, up from 10.9 million a year before. Roughly 64.4 percent of Verizon's post-paid customers -- or 60.7m users -- are now using smartphones, up from 49.7 percent a year ago.
Verizon broke the 100 million mark in total subscribers, adding 941,000 post-paid customers (contract customers, generally the most lucrative) and roughly 100,000 pre-paid customers. Verizon currently has 100.1m total subscribers of which 94.3m post-paid (contract) customers.
Perhaps most pleasing on the balance sheet was the rise in operating margin (a measure of profitability) from 19.8 percent a year ago to 22 percent. Overall profit (net revenue) was 73 cents excluding items such as one-time pension gains (78 cents per share before exclusion) -- in line with the 72 cents per share analysts had hoped.
II. Investors are Not Impressed
But where the analysts knocked Verizon was in revenue growth -- the average expectations in a
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S
was $29.83B USD versus the posted revenue of $28.55B USD.
Moffett Research analyst Craig Moffett to
, "The results were very good but at these valuations even very good might not be good enough."
Other line items also disappointed the investor flock.
Subscriber churn -- an estimate of the percent of post-paid subscribers leaving the service -- was 0.93 percent, versus an analyst expectation of 0.9 percent (and 0.84 percent a year ago). Mr. Moffett believes
-- the budget-savvy subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG (
) was the primary recipient of these defectors, while Verizon offset the losses from Sprint Nextel Corp. (
) and AT&T leavers.
Investors were not impressed. [Image Source: Reuters]
Another disappointment was wireless profit margin, which stood at 49.8 percent. A year ago that figure stood at 49 percent; the analyst expectations ranged from 50.0 percent to 50.9 percent.
But perhaps the biggest investor knock on Verizon was the silence by executives in the earnings call regarding the potential buyout of Vodafone's stake. With profit expected to continue to rise, investors had hoped Verizon would move swiftly to bring Verizon Wireless fully under its control, while it had the financial means to do so.
If another quarter slips by with no word on a buyout the investor reaction may be even harsher, as the pro-acquisitions shorters jump off.
AT&T will report its earnings on July 23, followed by Sprint on July 30.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
7/19/2013 12:39:23 PM
All Verizon has to do is offer a fully pre-paid plan on its network (which already offers the most coverage nationwide). Currently, none of the "big 4" offer a true pre-paid plan (eg. 9 cent text, 9 cent per minute, etc). Such plans are easily available in Europe (such as Blau, which I use).
I can practically guarantee a flock of customers rushing to Verizon if they enact a plan such as this.
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
Source: Don't Worry, NSA Spies on "99 Percent" of Americans' Locations, Call Records
June 14, 2013, 3:57 PM
Post-Merger, T-Mobile Sees First Customer Growth Since 2009
May 8, 2013, 2:23 PM
Verizon Looking to Buyout Vodafone's Verizon Wireless Stake for a Cool $100B+
April 25, 2013, 10:00 AM
Verizon Bumps U.S. LTE Coverage to 370 Markets, 75 Percent of Population
August 16, 2012, 3:17 PM
Verizon Names Updated Internet Tiers "FiOS Quantum," Releases Pricing
June 18, 2012, 1:21 PM
Archos Offers $99 WinPhone, $150 x86 Win8.1 Tablet, Android Trio
August 27, 2014, 7:07 PM
HTC Desire 510 Officially Announced, May be First 64-Bit Android Smartphone
August 27, 2014, 3:50 PM
Report: Apple to Unveil "iWatch" at iPhone 6 Event on September 9
August 27, 2014, 2:00 PM
Reports: Snapchat is Now Worth $10B, Cofounders are Billionaires to Be
August 27, 2014, 9:30 AM
Tim Cook Says iPad Sales Have Merely Hit a Temporary “Speed Bump”
August 27, 2014, 9:16 AM
ZOTAC Announces Diminutive ZBOX PI320 pico
August 27, 2014, 9:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft's Surface 2 Tablet Family Gets a $100 Price Cut
August 25, 2014, 1:16 AM
Report: Microsoft to Announce Windows 9 on September 30
August 21, 2014, 11:20 AM
From HULC to FORTIS: the Evolution of Lockheed Martin's Incredible Exosuit
August 22, 2014, 12:45 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Owner of "Decepticon" Maserati Ordered to Appear in Court This Thursday
August 25, 2014, 7:55 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information