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Verizon earnings: $1.17 per share, vs $1.10 EPS expected

Key Points
  • Verizon shares rise after the telecommunications company beats forecasts for earnings and revenue.
  • Earnings for the first quarter were 23 percent higher than a year earlier and revenue was nearly 7 percent above a year ago.
  • CNBC reported last week the Justice Department had requested information from all four major wireless carriers as part of an antitrust investigation.
Lowell McAdam
Cameron Costa | CNBC

Verizon on Tuesday reported first-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates.

Shares of Verizon rose 2.3 percent by midday after the report.

Here's how the telecom giant did:

  • Earnings per share: $1.17 vs. $1.10 expected by Thomson Reuters
  • Revenue: $31.78 billion vs. $31.25 billion expected by Thomson Reuters
  • Net increase of 260,000 retail postpaid connections, compared with 165,000 expected according to StreetAccount

Analysts had forecast a strong report even as the industry faces antitrust uncertainty.

Earnings for the first quarter were 23 percent higher than a year earlier and revenue was nearly 7 percent above a year ago.

The company attributed the growth to "solid performance" in its wireless business. Revenue for the division, excluding adjustments, totaled $21.9 billion and marked a year-over-year increase of 4.7 percent.

Net losses in connected phones and tablets were offset by a gain of 359,000 in other connected devices, primarily wearables.

Verizon has struggled in the past to maintain consistent net adds of retail postpaid connections — the number representing users locked into a contract.

The company saw a net increase of 1.2 million postpaid accounts in the previous quarter. In the first quarter of 2017, net postpaid accounts declined by 307,000.

CNBC reported last week the Justice Department had requested information from all four major wireless carriers — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint — as part of an antitrust investigation.

Officials are investigating whether the carriers colluded in stifling technology that would allow customers to more easily change providers.

Antitrust scrutiny has also loomed over merger talks between industry peers T-Mobile and Sprint — a tie-up that, if completed, would pose a greater challenger to leaders AT&T and Verizon.

CNBC reported earlier this month those merger talks had resumed.

As of Monday's close, shares of Verizon were down 8 percent in 2018, trading below $49 and more than 20 percent off the stock's 1999 all-time high of $62.29.

Correction: An earlier version misstated the period for when Verizon's postpaid accounts declined by 307,000. It was in the first quarter of 2017.