Verizon adds 1.5 million new monthly users as revenue beats estimates

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Communications on Thursday reported higher-than-expected revenue for the fourth quarter.

Shares of the No. 1 U.S. wireless service provider, whose profit beat analysts’ estimates, rose 0.5% to $44.65 in premarket trading.

Verizon added a net 1.5 million wireless retail postpaid, or monthly, subscriptions in the quarter. The company added 2 million a year earlier but exceeded analysts’ estimates of 1.42 million, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Wireless providers typically add and lose more customers in the fourth quarter as customers purchase new phones and upgrade their contracts.

Verizon was faced with some stiff competition from Sprint Corp, which offered 50% off to encourage users to switch to its network, and T-Mobile US debuted a new free video streaming plan.

Verizon’s postpaid churn rate fell to 0.96% from 1.14% a year earlier.

Average revenue per account was down 6.6% to $148.30, below the analysts’ forecast of $149.61, according to FactSet.

Sales at the company’s FiOS high-speed Internet, TV and phone service rose 6.8% to $3.53 billion.

Net income attributable to Verizon was $5.39 billion, or $1.32 per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $2.23 billion, or 54 cents per share.

Excluding special items such as pension adjustments, Verizon earned 89 cents per share.

Operating revenue rose 3.2% to $34.25 billion. Beating expectations by $0.15.