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Verizon earnings outlook comes up short, stock falls

Verizon Communications Inc. returned to positive subscriber growth in its consumer postpaid phone business for the fourth quarter, but shares of the wireless giant dipped in premarket trading Tuesday after the company’s full-year earnings outlook came up shy of analyst expectations.

The company recorded fourth-quarter net income of $6.70 billion, or $1.56 a share, compared with $4.74 billion, or $1.11 a share, in the year-prior quarter. After adjustments, Verizon
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earned $1.19 a share, compared with $1.31 a share a year before. The company matched the FactSet consensus, which was for $1.19 a share.

Revenue rose to $35.3 billion from $34.1 billion a year before, whereas analysts had been expecting $35.1 billion.

“We delivered on the operational expectations and financial targets that we set in the second half of 2022,” Chief Executive Hans Vestberg said in a release.

The company saw 41,000 net additions in its consumer wireless retail postpaid phone business, snapping a streak of subscriber losses that lasted three quarters. While FactSet doesn’t easily track this metric, Evercore ISI analysts were anticipating 50,000 postpaid phone net additions for the consumer business.

For the full year, executives at Verizon anticipate 2.5% to 4.5% in total wireless service revenue growth. They also model adjusted earnings per share of $4.55 to $4.85, whereas analysts tracked by FactSet were looking for $4.96.

Verizon’s management also expects $18.25 billion to $19.25 billion in capital spending for the full year, including what the company says will be the final $1.75 billion of its incremental $10 billion of C-Band-related spending. The FactSet consensus was for $19.8 billion in capital expenditures.

Verizon’s earnings report comes a day ahead of AT&T Inc.’s.
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See more: AT&T could ‘turn the corner’ on a key metric this year

T-Mobile US Inc.
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hasn’t formally reported yet, but the company disclosed ahead of an investor conference earlier this month that it saw 927,000 postpaid phone net additions during the fourth quarter.

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