The largest U.S. mobile service provider
Verizon Communications Inc.
) reported fourth quarter 2012 adjusted earnings of 45 cents per
share. The quarter's earnings were below the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of 54 cents and also lagged the year-ago figure of 52
The company's earnings were negatively impacted by steeper
operating costs as well as a drop in wireless EBITDA (earnings
before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margin.
Total revenue increased 5.6% year over year to $30.04 billion,
almost in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $29.71
billion. The year-over-year revenue growth was driven by
continued strong wireless services, FiOS fiber-optic services and
For the full year, the company posted earnings of $2.31 per share
(missing our projection by 3.8% but up 5.0% year over year), on
revenue of $115.8 million (up 4.5% from the prior year).
revenue increased 9.5% year over year to $20.00 billion in the
fourth quarter on the back of increased smartphone penetration
and high retail post-paid subscriber growth. Service, Equipment
and Other revenues grew 8.5%, 15.5% and 11.7%, respectively.
During the quarter, Verizon added 2.2 million retail subscribers,
including 2.1 million post-paid. At the end of 2012, the company
had 98.2 million retail subscribers (including 92.5 million
post-paid and 5.7 million prepaid customers), reflecting a 6.6%
Despite the sluggish growth in the U.S. mobile market, rapid
expansion of 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) services, strong sales
) iPhone (including the new iPhone 5), and increased adoption of
) Android smartphones led to the strong growth in retail wireless
At the end of 2012, smartphones accounted for 58% of retail
post-paid wireless. As of January 22, the Verizon LTE deployment
covered 476 markets with more than 273 million people.
Retail post-paid churn (customer switch) increased 1 basis point
(bp) year over year to 0.95% in the reported quarter. Total
retail churn also went up by 1 bp to 1.24%. Retail post-paid ARPA
(average revenue per account) grew 6.6% year over year.
revenue dipped 1.5% year over year to $10.0 billion due to
continued decline in global business. The negative effect was
partially offset by strong FiOS fiber-optic network and better
sale of strategic service in the U.S.
FiOS revenue increased 15.7% year over year. During the reported
quarter, Verizon added 144,000 and 134,000 new customers to its
FiOS Video and FiOS Internet services, respectively.
The company exited the fourth quarter with 4.7 million (up
13.3% year over year) FiOS Video customers and 5.4 million (up
12.6%) FiOS Internet customers. The penetration rate (subscribers
as a percentage of potential subscribers) of both FiOS Internet
and FiOS Video increased to approximately 37.3% and 33.3%,
respectively, across all markets from the year-ago levels of
35.5% and 31.5%.
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Strategic services revenue, including Verizon Terremark cloud and
data center services, security and IT solutions, advanced
communications, and strategic networking, increased 5.3% from the
year-ago quarter, representing 54% of global enterprise revenue
in the fourth quarter.
Total Broadband connection at the end of 2012 was 8.8 million, up
1.4% year over year.
Verizon exited 2012 with cash and cash equivalents of $3.1
billion. The company had long-term debt (including current
portion) of $52.0 billion, representing debt-to-capitalization
ratio of 37.8%. Net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA improved to 1.3 times
from 1.2 times at the end of 2011.
Verizon generated $31.5 billion of cash from operations in 2012,
while capital expenditure for the year amounted to $16.2 billion.
Other Stock Set For Earnings Release
Another telecom giant
) will release its full fourth-quarter 2012 financial results on
January 24, 2013 after the close of trading. The Zacks Consensus
Estimates for the fourth quarter and 2012 earnings currently
stand at 47 cents per share and $2.37 per share, respectively.
The estimates reflect a respective year-over-year growth of 11.7%
and 7.8% for the fourth quarter and 2012.
Verizon currently holds a Zacks Rank #3, implying a short-term
Hold rating. We believe Verizon is poised to grow its revenue and
earnings in 2013 based on the introduction of new smartphones,
tablets and data devices in the wireless segment, and continued
expansion of robust FiOS fiber-optic network and strategic
services, including cloud-computing business, in the wireline