Verizon Communications Inc. said that as most of its stores shuttered following the COVID-19 lockdown, more than 500,000 retail postpaid net losses has led the telecommunications company to withdraw its full-year revenue outlook.
In its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday (April 24), the New York-based firm said total revenues fell to $21.8 billion from January through March, a 1.7 percent decline from the same period one year ago.
The company reduced its full-year adjusted earnings per share outlook to between a growth of 2 percent and a decline of 2 percent. Previously, it had expected 2 percent to 4 percent growth.
Verizon reported that it lost 68,000 wireless phone subscribers, or 0.82 percent in the first quarter, compared to 0.84 percent for the same period last year.
Just 100 subscribers were added in the quarter that ended March 31, according to research firm FactSet as reported by Reuters.
Jonathan Chaplin, an analyst at New Street Research, wrote in a report that a lower number of subscribers should have been outnumbered by the impact of new customers.
“Verizon has been losing subscribers in the first quarter for the last few years – churn is higher than gross adds,” Chaplin wrote. “With the drop in switching activity induced by social distancing, Verizon should have benefited.”
Total operating revenue for the wireless carrier fell 1.6 percent to $31.6 billion from a year earlier.
Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg put the best face on the number. “Verizon began 2020 with strong operational performance," he said in the filing. "In an unprecedented time, Verizon took decisive and balanced actions that will serve our stakeholders in the long term, including protecting our employees, maintaining our network quality and reliability, serving our customers and supporting our communities. We will emerge from this crisis stronger, knowing we provided critical connectivity to our customers, and especially our first responders, while maintaining our commitment to investing in our 5G and fiber strategies.”
At midday on Friday (April 24), shares of Verizon fell to $57.31, a 0.28 decline, according to Yahoo! Finance.
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