Verizon Meets 1Q Profit Forecasts on Seasonally Weak Quarter

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Verizon Communications Inc. on Thursday reported a 2.2 percent rise in its first-quarter profit, matching Wall Street expectations as the company dealt with seasonally low volume.

The results come as the company deals with a strike by 39,000 landline and cable employees along the East Coast.

The largest U.S. cellphone carrier reported a profit of $4.31 billion, or $1.06 per share. The average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.06 per share.

The New York-based company’s revenue rose slightly to $32.17 billion in the period, but missed Street forecasts. Ten analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $32.41 billion on average.

The company said it added 640,000 wireless customers during the quarter, marking seasonally low volume. It also added 98,000 Fios internet customers and 36,000 Fios video net additions. Customer retention remained high, the company said, with retail churn at just under 1 percent.

Landline and cable employees have been on strike since last Wednesday after workers and the company failed to agree on a contract. The strike involves about 39,000 of the company’s estimated 177,000 employees. Verizon said the strike will likely put pressure on its second quarter results because of the timing of cost reductions.

Its trading Thursday, Verizon shares fell $2.22, or 4.3 percent, to $49.54.

The stock is up 1.6 percent over the past year.

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