(The Street) – Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) – Get Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Wednesday, and lifted its full-year profit forecast, as it launches offers linked to Apple’s (AAPL) – Get Report first line-up of 5G smartphones.
Verizon said adjusted non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in September were pegged at $1.25 per share, a figure that was flat to last year but 3 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, Verizon said, fell 4.1% from last year to $31.5 billion, just under analysts’ estimates of a $31.6 billion tally.
Looking into the final months of the year, however, Verizon lifted its 2020 forecast for adjusted earnings growth to a range of flat to +2%, up from its prior guidance of -2% to +2%, and said wireless revenues would grow “at least 2%” over the fourth quarter.
“We continue to demonstrate our strength and resilience by delivering very strong third quarter financial results,” said CEO Hans Vestberg. “We are energized by the transformational technology that our 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G nationwide bring. Our purpose-driven culture paired with our network leadership will shape the future, for the better.”
Verizon shares were marked 0.5% higher in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $57.55 each.
Verizon also added 283,000 mobile phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill, topping the FactSet forecast average of 268,000, as the carrier begins to launch iPhone 12 offers linked to Apple’s first line of 5G smartphones.
In order to ensure customers are able to capture 5G benefits, however, Verizon has had to boost its 2020 capital spending on network rollouts, and expects the total costs will come in at the higher end of its prior forecast of between $17.5 billion and $18.5 billion.