Verizon (VZ) Q3 Wireless Revenue Rises 9.1%, Profits Surge But Match Views

October 21, 2011 8:12 AM EDT
Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is looking weaker early Friday, amid a relatively in-line third-quarter performance from the communications giant.

Operating revenue for Verizon increased about 5.4 percent to $27.913 billion in the quarter. Wireless revenues rose 9.1% to $17.7 billion.

Net income ripped 31.3 percent from $2.698 billion last year to $3.542 in the recent quarter. Earnings per share was reported at 56 cents, versus 55 cents last year.

Overall, the Street was looking for revenue of $27.88 and earnings of 56 cents per share

Operating margins were 16.7 percent, from 12.8 percent for the same period last year. Net income margins rose 190 basis points from 10.2 percent last year to 12.7 percent.

Verizon Wireless added 1.3 million total connections in third-quarter, 882 thousand retail postpaid and 367 wholesale and other connections. Total wireless connections were 107.7 million at the end of September, up 6.5 percent from last year.

Postpaid ARPU rose 2.4 percent, to $53.21. Data revs increased 20.5 percent to $6.1 billion.

Retail postpaid churn moved from 1.07 percent last year, to just 0.94 percent.

The company added 138,000 net new FiOS Internet and 131,000 net FiOS TV subscribers in the quarter for a total of 4.0 million, up 20.9% from last year. Additions were down 38.9% from last year for FiOS TV.

"Verizon emerges from the third quarter in a strong position to accelerate growth," CEO Lowell McAdam commented. "[We] delivered results that keep us on track to meet our 2011 earnings and revenue guidance, with great momentum expected entering 2012."

Looking ahead, Verizon sees fiscal 2011 adjusted EPS growth of 5 to 8 percent, amounting to a range of $2.18 to $2.25 from adjusted EPS of $2.08 reported in 2010. Revs for fiscal 2011 are expected to grow 4 to 8 percent, for a range of $110.828 billion to $115.090 billion, from $106.565 billion reported for 2010. Overall, the Street is looking for EPS of $2.22 and revenue of $110.73 billion.

Verizon shares are down 1.2 percent following the numbers.

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