Telecommunications giant Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) reported earnings this morning, and like AT&T last week there weren’t many surprises. Total revenues of $27.3B were slightly above expectations, as were adjusted earnings per share of $0.60. There was no iPhone of course, but the net increase of 1.2M wireless subscribers was a bit higher than expected. Verizon is gearing up to challenge the iPhone with phones based on Google’s Android in the fourth quarter, but even with a big launch it will be a while before that could be relevant. I doubt very much if Verizon’s Droid series will do the iPhone that much damage, but really all it has to do to be successful is reduce churn by giving Verizon subscribers an upgrade path to a similar device.
On the other hand, they do have FIOS whose subscribers continue to grow steadily with another 191K FIOS TV and 198K total subscribers added during the quarter. That’s 3.3M total FIOS subscribers now, which is becoming quite substantial, and they still expect to have FIOS pass 15M homes by the end of the year. Growth from FIOS has helped the mass markets portion of Verizon’s wireline business hold relatively steady this year, even as the Global Enterprise and Global Wholesale revenues have declined by over 5%. They didn’t say much about that last bit of course, prefering to emphasize a 1% increase in ‘worldwide sales of strategic business services’ above last year’s levels. But as with AT&T, that’s PR for you.
As I said, overall no real surprises here. Verizon’s results are a fairly linear extrapolation of current trends, with a touch of economic optimism thrown in. In other words, while signs of a failing recovery may yet emerge during this earnings season, they did not do so today.
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