Verizon adds 1.2M net customer additions in Q4, ups 2018 growth outlook

Verizon also got a big tax boost that added a bevy of moving parts to the bottom line. The company will outline how it plans to spend the tax gains.

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Verizon Wireless said that it added 1.2 million retail postpaid net customers in the fourth quarter as its 2017 net adds showed growth of 1.8 percent.

The telecom giant's fourth quarter results had a bevy of moving parts due to charges, tax law changes, and revaluation of assets and liabilities. Meanwhile, growth initiatives such as telematics delivered fourth quarter revenue of $230 million. Internet of Things revenue was up 17 percent from a year ago.

Verizon reported fourth quarter net income of $18.8 billion on revenue of $34 billion, up 5 percent from a year ago. For 2017, Verizon reported revenue of $126 billion. Earnings per share for the fourth quarter excluding a bevy of charges and gains were 86 cents a share, 2 cents lower than Wall Street estimates.

Fourth quarter earnings were $4.56 a share, up from $1.10 a share a year ago, according to Verizon. Adjusted earnings include a charge due to tax changes, mark-to-market to address pension liabilities, a charge for product realignment.

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By the numbers:

  • The company added 431,000 net phone additions with 647,000 smartphones. Retail postpaid net additions in the fourth quarter included 193,000 tablet and 550,000 other connected devices led by wearables.
  • Verizon added 2.1 million net postpaid additions for 2017.
  • Verizon's media business (AOL and Yahoo), which is now known as Oath, had revenue of $2.2 billion in the fourth quarter, up 10 percent from the third quarter. Verizon cited a holiday ad boost.
  • There were 116.3 million total retail connections at the end of the year.
  • Churn was 1 percent in the fourth quarter.
  • Wireless revenue for the fourth quarter was $23.8 billion, up 1.7 percent from a year ago.
  • 80 percent of the postpaid base is on unsubsidized service plans.
  • Verizon added a net 47,000 FiOS Internet connections, but lost a net 29,000 FiOS video subscribers. Verizon had 5.9 million FiOS Internet connections and 4.6 million FiOS video connections.

For 2018, Verizon sees revenue growing in low-single digit percentage rates. Wall Street was expecting about 1-percent growth. Ditto for adjusted earnings per share growth.

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