Verizon Q2 strong amid 5G wireless gains

20% of Verizon customers now have 5G capable devices.

Verizon reported better-than-expected second quarter earnings as it added 528,000 retail postpaid subscribers and saw gains from 5G adoption.

The wireless giant reported non-GAAP second quarter earnings of $1.40 a share and $1.37 excluding extra items. Revenue for the second quarter checked in at $33.8 billion due to wireless sales gains.

Wall Street was looking for second quarter revenue of $32.74 billion and non-GAAP earnings of $1.30 a share.

Verizon also raised its outlook for the year and now projects adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $5.25 to $5.35 with wireless service revenue growth of 3.5% to 4%. CEO Hans Vestberg said the company is expanding its 5G Home and 5G Ultra-Wideband deployments.

On a conference call with analysts Vestberg said:

It is remarkable what the difference a year can make. We're quickly resuming prepandemic norms. And at Verizon, our network and in-store traffic is almost back to prepandemic volumes, and our office employees are gradually coming back to office.

Of course, some behaviors are changed permanently. The mass shift toward online activity speed up the time line for work from home distant learning, banking, entertainment, telemedicine, et cetera. All of these societal and behavior shifts have had an impact on the business.

He also said Verizon's 5G mmWave network was seeing increased usage. "We have seen millimeter wave usage increase 290% June year-to-date. And as we continue to deploy millimeter wave sites and we get more device penetration, we expect these numbers to continue to increase fast and track towards 5% to 10% of traffic in most dense urban areas by year-end," he said.  

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By the numbers:

  • Verizon saw consumer second quarter revenue grow 11.2% from a year ago and 6.7% from the second quarter of 2019.
  • 20% of Verizon customers now have 5G capable devices.
  • In the second quarter, Verizon added 350,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions including 197,000 phone net additions.
  • Verizon added 92,000 FioS Internet net additions in the second quarter. Verizon lost 62,000 video customers in the second quarter.
  • Verizon's SMB sales and enterprise businesses showed traction. Verizon Business added 178,000 wireless retail postpaid net additions with 78,000 phone net additions.
  • The company added that Verizon Media revenue was $2.1 billion, up 50% from a year ago. Verizon is selling its media division.
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Verizon