Verizon Revenue Slides Along With Subscriber Numbers

October 20, 2016, 12:24 PM UTC
A Verizon Communications Inc. Store Ahead Of Earnings Figures
A pedestrian checks his mobile phone while walking past a Verizon Wireless store in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Verizon Communications Inc. is scheduled to release earnings data on April 21. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Verizon Communications, the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier that has agreed to buy Yahoo’s core business, reported a 6.7% drop in quarterly revenue as it added far fewer subscribers than expected.

Verizon said on Thursday it added a net 442,000 retail postpaid subscribers, or those who pay their bills on a monthly basis, in the third-quarter ended Sept. 30.

Analysts were expecting 766,300, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Verizon (VZ), whose $4.83 billion deal to buy Yahoo’s core business has been shaken by a massive data breach at the Internet company, said its total operating revenue fell to $30.94 billion from $33.16 billion.

Analysts had expected revenue of $31.14 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Verizon did not provide an update on the Yahoo (YHOO) deal in its earnings statement.

Doubts about the deal have emerged since the data breach, involving 500 million email accounts, was reported in September. Verizon’s general counsel has said the incident may represent a material event that could allow Verizon to back out of the deal.

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However, Yahoo’s better-than-expected quarterly profit and customer trends data reported this week allayed some concern that the deal could come unstuck.

Net income attributable to Verizon fell to $3.62 billion, or 89 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $4.04 billion, or 99 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.01 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 99 cents per share.

Churn, or customer defections, among postpaid wireless retail customers increased to 1.04% of total wireless subscribers, compared with the average estimate of 0.99%, according to FactSet.

Verizon’s shares were down 2.5% at $49.10 in premarket trading. Up to Wednesday’s close, the stock had risen 8.76% since the start of the year.

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