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Verizon - Q4 results show strong margin gains in Wireless

George Salmon | 30 January 2018 | A A A
Verizon - Q4 results show strong margin gains in Wireless

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Verizon Communications Inc Com Stk US0.10

Sell: 45.55 | Buy: 45.56 | Change 0.41 (0.91%)
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Adjusted fourth quarter earnings per share were $0.86, flat on 4Q 2016.

Acquisitions drove a 5% increase in operating revenues, to $34bn. However, underlying revenues fell 2%.

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Fourth Quarter Results

Verizon Wireless saw 1.2m retail postpaid net additions, including a net 647,000 postpaid smartphone contracts. Retail postpaid churn of 0.77% was lower than 0.90% for the 11th consecutive quarter.

While revenues in the division rose by just 1.7% to $23.8bn, margins rising from 36.9% to 39.8% helped earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jump 9.6% to $9.5bn.

Within Wireline, Q4 and full year revenues nudged up slightly, to $7.6bn and $30.7bn respectively. However after removing the net impact of acquisitions, Q4 revenues fell 3.6%. Revenues at fibre optic internet, TV and phone provider Fios grew 2.3%, driven by the net addition of another 47,000 internet connections.

Q4 EBITDA in the division was $1.6bn, down from $1.8bn last year as margins fell from 23.3% to 20.9%.

Looking ahead to 2018, the group expects revenues and adjusted earnings per share to grow at low-single-digit percentage rates. Capital expenditure is due to be in the $17bn to $17.8bn range. This includes the commercial launch of 5G.

Tax-reform legislation will have a positive impact on cash flows of approximately $3.5bn to $4bn, which the group intends to use to strengthen its balance sheet.

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