Verizon tops earnings expectations, points to traction in 5G

Verizon Communications Inc. topped second-quarter earnings and revenue expectations Wednesday as more consumers moved to get 5G phones and unlimited plans.

The company generated net income of $5.95 billion, or $1.40 a share, compared with $4.84 billion, or $1.13 a share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, Verizon
earned $1.37 a share, up from $1.18 a share a year prior and ahead of the FactSet consensus, which called for $1.30 a share.

Verizon’s operating revenue for the quarter rose to $33.76 billion from $30.45 billion, while analysts tracked by FactSet had been expecting $32.77 billion on average. The company saw $23.5 billion in consumer revenue, $7.8 billion in business revenue, and $2.1 billion in media revenue.

Shares were up 1.2% in premarket trading Wednesday.

In the consumer business, Verizon recorded retail postpaid phone churn of 0.65%, one of its lowest rates yet as a limited number of consumers switched wireless providers. Verizon also saw 350,000 retail postpaid net additions, including 197,000 phone net additions, and said that about 20% of wireless phone customers in the consumer segment are now using 5G phones.

The telecommunications company now expects total wireless service revenue growth of 3.5% to 4.0% for the full fiscal year, whereas it was previously calling for growth of at least 3%. Verizon withdrew its prior expectation for service and other revenue growth as it recently announced plans to sell its Verizon Media business, with the deal expected to close in the third quarter.

Verizon now projects full-year adjusted earnings per share of $5.25 to $5.35, up from its prior expectation for $5.00 to $5.15. The company continues to expect 2021 capital spending of $17.5 billion to $18.5 billion.

Shares of Verizon have lost 4.4% over the past three months as the Dow Jones Industrial Average
has added 1.1%.

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