Verizon reported its first-quarter earnings On Tuesday and announced that it had lost 44,000 net postpaid smartphone connections during the period. There are some analysts who consider that to be the most important category that a wireless carrier report after every three months. That compares to the 24,000 net postpaid phone connections that the company eventually lost during the first quarter of 2018. All in all, Verizon had 61,000 retail net postpaid additions from the time of January through March; that figure also includes tablet net losses of 156,000 and connected device net additions that are mostly wearable devices of 261,000. Total postpaid device activations were down 4.7% and Verizon lost 176,000 net prepaid connections as well which is a sharp improvement from the 335,000 it lost in Q1 of 2018.
Verizon raises profit forecast, loses phone subscribers
It is to be noted that the wireless revenues rose 3.7% year-over-year to $22.7 billion on the back of a 4.4% gain in the form of service revenues. That category was led by the customers of Verizon, moving up to higher priced plans and adding more lines during the quarter.
Postpaid phone churn was 0.84%, up just 4 basis points year-over-year. Total retail postpaid churn came in at 1.12%, up from 1.04% during the first quarter of last year.
Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO, Verizon said:
“Verizon began 2019 by extending our leadership position in 4G, driving innovation in 5G and expanding our high-valued customer relationships. 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Verizon. We are leading the world in the development of new technologies with the launch of our 5G Ultra Wideband network.”
Verizon Wireless reported EBITDA (earnings before interest, depreciation, and amortization) of $10.8 billion, a rise of 2.3% from the first quarter of last year. EBITDA margins, at 47.4%, came in under Wall Street expectations. Capital expenditures of the first quarter came in at $4.3 billion, no doubt a large chunk of that went toward the continued build-out of the company’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. Speaking of which, Verizon launched mobile 5G in Minneapolis and Chicago earlier this month. The service is only available on only one device currently, the Motorola Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto Mod attached. Technically, the launch of Big Red’s next-gen wireless service took place in the second quarter, which runs from the time of April through June.
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