Verizon released its fourth quarter earnings report before opening bell this morning, posting adjusted earnings of 89 cents per share and $34.3 billion in revenue. Analysts had been expecting 88 cents per share in earnings and $34.11 billion in revenue. In the year-ago quarter, the mobile carrier reported adjusted earnings of 71 cents per share and revenue of $33.2 billion.
Verizon swings to a profit
Reported earnings were $1.32 per share, compared to losses of 54 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2014.
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Verizon added 1.5 million retail postpaid wireless connections during the fourth quarter and recorded a retail postpaid churn rate of 0.96%. The wireless segment brought in $23.7 billion in revenue, marking a 1.2% year over year increase. Service revenues declined 5.6% to $17.2 billion, while equipment revenues climbed to $5.4 billion as a result of installment pricing plans. The wireless carrier added 906,000 4G smartphones during the fourth quarters and activated 7.6 million phones on payment plans, bringing the number of active devices on payment plans to 25 million.
The wireline segment saw a 6.8% increase in Fios revenue with 99,000 Fios internet and 20,000 video net adds. The company said new Internet of Things revenue streams are growing, amounting to $200 million in the fourth quarter. Consumer wireline revenues climbed 2.6% year over year. Fios made up 80.4% of total revenues for the segment. Total Fios revenues climbed 6.8% to $3.5 billion. As of the end of the year, over 70% of consumer Fios internet subscribers were on plans with at least 50 megabytes per second in speed. Fios internet penetration was 41.8% as of the end of the year, while Fios video penetration was 35.3%.
Verizon provides guidance
For this year, Verizon expects full-year earnings to “plateau at a level comparable to its strong full-year 2015 adjusted earnings” as it works on mitigating pressures caused by the sale of its high-margin wireline business to Frontier. The company also said it expects to use the proceeds from the deal with Frontier to pay down some of its debt. Verizon also guided for a consolidated adjusted EBITDA margin that’s consistent with the full-year margin in 2015 and for capital spending of between $17.2 billion and $17.7 billion.
Shares of Verizon edged upward by 0.76% to $44.79 per share in premarket trading this morning.