Pandemic Keeps Verizon Subscribers From Hanging Up

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Verizon (VZ) - Get Report rang up better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and sales as stability in its subscriber base linked to people's need to remain connected through the coronavirus pandemic kept subscribers from hanging up.

The New York company said it earned $1.18 an adjusted share, down from an adjusted $1.23 a share a year earlier but better than FactSet forecasts of $1.15 a share. Revenue rang in at $30.4 billion, down 5.1% from the year-ago quarter though better than analysts' estimates of $29.93 billion.

A stable subscriber base supported by consumer demand to remain connected and online through the pandemic helped drive the results, though that was offset by lagging advertising revenue and a drop in sales of wireless equipment, "primarily due to limited in-store engagement and the impact of Covid-19 on customer behavior."

Total wireless service revenue fell 1.7% to $15.9 billion. Consumer wireless service revenue was $21.1 billion, a 4% year-over-year decrease, though the figures include impacts related to reduced roaming, usage, and waived fees due to Covid-19, the company said in a statement.

In its media business, revenue fell 24.5% from a year earlier, though the company did point to “increased customer engagement” on its media properties.

Looking forward, the company said it remains on track for adjusted per-share earnings growth of between -2% and 2%, with capital spending in the range of $17.5 billion to $18.5 billion.

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