Shares in Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) perked up in pre-market trade before easing back slightly at the open on Friday as investors assessed a strong set of third-quarter numbers from the firm, which showed an increase in mobile phone customer sign-ups.
The largest US wireless carrier by subscribers beat analyst estimates for earnings and revenue in the three months to end September.
Net income came in at US$5.34 billion, or US$1.25 per share, up from US$5.06 billion, or $1.19 per share in the third quarter of 2018. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) was US$1.25, up from US$1.22 last year. Analysts had expected a figure of US$1.24.
Operating revenue climbed to US$32.9 billion, compared to $32.6 billion, beating the consensus figure of US$32.7 billion.
In the third quarter, the firm also logged 615,000 postpaid smartphone net additions, compared with 510,000 in the same quarter a year ago, well above analysts’ estimates of 527,000. It was, according to the firm, the most third-quarter phone gross additions in five years.
The 'postpaid' figure is closely scrutinized by business scribes, or, in other words, customers that have a recurring bill, because they are more valuable to carriers and tend to remain with the company longer than prepaid customers.
"Verizon continued its momentum in the third quarter by driving strong wireless volumes in both our Consumer and Business segments, while delivering solid financial results, highlighted by continued wireless service revenue growth, increased cash flow, and EPS growth," said Verizon chairman and chief executive Hans Vestberg.
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