Verizon leaps as key factor in outlook adds fuel to Q4 earnings beat

Verizon  (VZ) – Get Free Report posted better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Tuesday, while forecasting solid 2024 profits thanks in part to its flexible wireless plans and promotions linked to Apple’s  (AAPL) – Get Free Report new iPhone 15.

Adjusted non-GAAP earnings for the three months ended in December were $1.08 a share, down 9.2% from the same period in 2022 but topping the Wall Street consensus forecast of $1.07 per share. 

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Group revenue, Verizon said, slipped 0.4% from a year earlier to $35.1 billion, just ahead of analysts’ estimates of a $34.58 billion tally.

Verzion’s postpaid additions for the quarter were pegged at 446,000, the highest in nearly two years and double analysts’ estimates. That’s thanks in part to hybrid plans that include streaming subscriptions such as Netflix  (NFLX) – Get Free Report and Max.  (WBD) – Get Free Report

Looking into the coming year, Verizon sees wireless revenue growing 2% to 3.5%. Adjusted earnings are estimated in the region of $4.50 to $4.70 per share, compared with an LSEG forecast of around $4.59 per share.

Verizon CEO: Balance of growth, profitability

“After delivering continuous improvement throughout 2023, we ended the year strong and continue to pursue the right balance of growth and profitability,” Chief Executive Hans Vestberg said in a statement. 

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The year “2023 was a year of change. We have the right assets and the best team in place and are well-positioned for growth in 2024.” 

Verizon shares were marked 1.6% higher in premarket trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $40.20 each.

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Last November, the group named Tony Skiadas as full-time chief financial office. Vestberg said the move positioned the company veteran “to steer us through the current economic volatility and our industry’s changing landscape.”

Verizon’s ongoing deployment of its 5G network, built in part on the $53 billion purchase of new C-Band spectrum from the U.S. government, remains a key plank in the group’s growth prospects 

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