Fourth quarter earnings rose 15 percent at Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), the country's largest wireless operator, boosted by growth in its wireless and broadband units. Verizon reported net income of $1.24 billion, or $0.43 per share (EPS) on $24.6 billion in revenue, just shy of analyst forecasts of $24.76 billion. On an adjusted basis, Verizon earned 61 cents a share compared to 62 cents a share a year ago. Total revenues for the wireless unit were up 12.3 percent year on year to $12.8 billion and data revenues surged 41.4 percent to $3 billion. Revenues at its wireline business shrank 2.7 percent year on year to $11.9 billion, hit by continued losses in its fixed line access business, but saw broadband and video revenue increase 42 percent year on year to $1.2 billion.
Revenues up: Total revenues were up 12.5 percent to $12.7 billion. Total service revenue was $10.9 billion, boosted by strong growth in data revenues. Data revenues, which now make up 25.5 percent of all service revenues climbed 42.5 percent to $2.8 billion.
Net customer additions slowing down: Verizon's wireless reported 1.4 million net customer additions compared to 1.5 million in the third quarter. At the end of the quarter, Verizon Wireless had 72.1 million total customers, excluding customers from its Alltel (NYSE: AT) purchase.
Churn up: Churn crept up for the second straight quarter, again most likely due to the iPhone. Total churn was up to 1.35 percent, compared to 1.33 percent sequentially and 1.2 percent year on yeat. Retail post-paid churn was 1.05 percent, up from 1.03 percent from Q3.
Total ARPU up; data ARPU surges: Total service ARPU was up 1.4 percent to $51.72 year over year, but fell sequentially from $52.72 in the third quarter. Total Data ARPU was up 27.9 percent over the same period coming in at $13.86. Non-messaging revenue, meanwhile, grew 52 percent and now makes up over half of all data revenue.
FiOS TV/ FiOS Internet: Verizon added 303,000 net new FiOS TV customers, comared with 226,000 in Q407, and 282,000 net new FiOS Internet customers, compared with 244,000 in the fourth quarter 2007. The company now has 1.9 million FIOS TV customers and 2.5 million FiOS Internet customers.
Wireline total operating revenues down, but consumer revenue up: Wireline total operating revenues were $11.9 billion, 2.7 percent down compared with the fourth quarter 2007. Consumer revenues totaled $3.8 billion, a 2.9 percent growth from Q407. Broadband and video are driving the growth, where revenues surges 42 percent year on year to $1.2 billion and now accounts for 31 percent of all consumer revenues.
Consumer ARPU up: Consumer ARPU was up 14.3 percent to $68.46, with FiOS ARPU coming in at $133+.
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By Dianne See Morrison