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Verizon’s Profit Falls 23% as Price Increases Slow Growth


Verizon attributed the drop in its wireless retail postpaid connections to higher customer churn after it instituted monthly rate increases over the summer.


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Verizon Communications Inc.

VZ -4.86%

said its earnings slipped by nearly a fourth in the quarter as retail customers balked at its recent price increases.

The telecommunications giant said Friday that its consumer business lost 189,000 wireless retail postpaid connections, attributing the drop to higher customer churn that followed monthly rate increases it instituted over the summer.

Verizon’s business-focused unit meanwhile added 197,000 postpaid phone connections, netting the company a total of 8,000 new wireless customers during the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. The company also added 377,000 new broadband connections.

Profits fell 23% to $5 billion. Adjusted earnings came in at $1.32 a share, above analyst expectations of $1.29 a share, according to


Overall revenue was up 4% to $34.2 billion, topping analyst expectations of $33.76 billion, according to FactSet.

Verizon’s report comes a day after rival

AT&T Inc.

T 2.21%

posted revenue and profit growth that overshot expectations after gaining 708,000 postpaid phone connections, a metric investors use to measure the strength of a cellphone carrier’s main profit center. The tally handily topped Wall Street analyst projections for the third quarter in a row.

AT&T said the more than 2.2 million wireless subscribers it has through three quarters is expected to top competitors.

Consumer spending has held up relatively well so far despite inflation, but experts say we’re approaching an inflection point. WSJ’s Sharon Terlep explains the role “elasticity” plays in a company’s decision on whether to raise prices. Photo illustration: Adele Morgan

Write to Dean Seal at [email protected]

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