Verizon released its third quarter earnings report before opening bell this morning, posting adjusted earnings of $1.04 per share on $33.2 billion in revenue. Analysts had been looking for earnings of $1.02 per share and $32.9 billion in revenue.
Reported earnings were 99 cents per share, compared to last year’s 89 cents per share.
Verizon’s wireless business shows continued growth
Verizon’s wireless segment saw revenues rise 5.4% year over year to $23 billion and recorded an operating margin of 33.3%. Service revenues plus installment billings in the wireless business rose 1.2% year over year, while equipment revenues increased from $2.5 billion last year to $4.3 billion last year. Verizon reported that the increase was due to more customers deciding to purchase new devices using installment pricing this year. The mobile carrier reported about a 58% rate of phone activations on installment plans, compared to 12% in last year’s third quarter and 49% in the previous quarter.
Verizon added 1.3 million net retail postpaid connections during the third quarter and saw a churn rate of 0.93%. In all, the mobile carrier’s wireless business added 110.8 million total retail connections and 105 million total retail postpaid connections. The company added 889,000 4G smartphones to its postpaid customer base and activated 5.6 million phones on installment plans. Verizon reports that 4G devices now make up over 76% of its retail postpaid connections base.
Fios drives Verizon’s wireline growth
Consumer revenues for Verizon’s wireline business rose 2.8% to $4 billion year over year, with fios revenues making up 79% of total revenues in the segment. Fios revenues climbed 7.5% to $3.4 billion year over year. The operating income margin was 6.2% for the segment, an increase from 2.3% in last year’s third quarter.
Verizon’s wireline business added 114,000 fios internet subscribers and 42,000 fios video subscribers. The company said the penetration rate of fios among its subscribers stood at 41.7% as of the end of the third quarter. Fios video had a penetration rate of 35.6% among Verizon’s customers.
During the first nine months of this year, Verizon paid out about $22 billion for spectrum licenses and on capital investments to add network capacity. That’s on top of the $4 billion acquisition of AOL.
As of this writing, shares of Verizon were up 1.23% at $45.36 per share.