Verizon Tops Earnings Forecast, Repeats 2021 Profit Guidance

Verizon lost more wireless customers to rivals over the first three months of the year, but still posted stronger-than-expected earnings and revenues.
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Verizon Communications  (VZ) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Wednesday and reiterated its full-year profit forecast as rival wireless carriers pared its subscriber base. 

Verizon said adjusted non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in March were pegged at $1.31 per share, up 4% from the same period last year and 2 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, Verizon said, rose 4% from last year to $32.9 billion, again edging ahead of analysts' estimates of a $32. billion tally.

Looking into the 2021 financial year, Verizon repeated its forecast for adjusted earnings in the range of $5.00 to $5.15 per share, with capital expenditures pegged between $17.5 billion and $18.5 billion.

“Verizon is off to an excellent start in 2021 as we met the challenge of intense competition in the first quarter by achieving revenue growth across our three business segments," said CEO Hans Vestberg. “This year began with a transformative milestone for our company with our success in the recent C-Band spectrum auction."

"We continue to strengthen our networks, execute on our Network-as-a-Service strategy and focus on the five vectors that underpin our growth framework and position us to deliver success in 2021 and beyond,” he added.  

Verizon shares were marked 0.1% higher in early Wednesday trading immediately following the earnings release to change hands at $58.30 each, a move that leaves the stock largely flat on a year-to-date basis.

Verizon also lost 178,000 mobile phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill as newer offerings from AT&T  (T) - Get Report and T-Mobile US  (TMUS) - Get Report linked to Apple's  (AAPL) - Get Report first line of 5G smartphones drew customers away over the first three months of the year.