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Verizon (VZ) Posts Mixed Q1: Earnings In Line, Revenues Lag

Verizon Communications Inc. VZ reported mixed financial numbers in the first quarter of 2016. While the top line lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate, the bottom line just met the same.

Adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.06 in the reported quarter. Quarterly GAAP net income was $4,430 million compared with $4,338 million in the year-ago quarter.

Quarterly total revenue increased 0.6% year over year to $32,171 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at $32,406 million.

Total operating expenses in the reported quarter were $24,229 million, up 0.9% year over year. Operating income came at $7,942 million compared with $7,960 million in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $11,959 million against $11,949 million in the prior-year quarter.

Cash Flow & Liquidity

In the first quarter of 2016, Verizon generated $7,419 million of cash from operations compared with $10,169 million in the year-ago quarter. Free cash flow in the reported quarter was $4,032 million compared with $6,504 million in the same quarter of the previous year.

At the end of the first quarter of 2016, Verizon had $5,846 million in cash and $109,880 million in long-term debt compared with $4,820 million and $110,194 million respectively at the end of 2015. The debt-to-capitalization ratio was 0.84 at first-quarter 2016-end compared with 0.85 at the end of 2015.

Wireless Segment

Total revenue was $22,004 million, up 1.5% year over year. Service revenues were down 6.2% to $16,809 million. Equipment revenues increased 17.2% to $3,954 million. Other revenues totaled $1,241 million, up 19.2%.

Operating expenses decreased 2.7% to $14,124 million. Operating income improved 0.9% to $7,880 million. Quarterly operating income margin was 35.8% in comparison with 35% in the first quarter of 2015. Segment EBITDA increased 1.7% to $10,173 million. EBITDA margin was 46.2% compared with 44.8% in the prior-year quarter.

At the end of the first quarter of 2016, Verizon had 112.573 million retail subscribers, up 3.7% year over year. Out of the total, retail postpaid subscriber count was 107.171 million, up 4.4% and retail prepaid user count was 5.402 million, down 9.1%. During the reported quarter, the company added 0.64 million postpaid customers (up 13.3% year over year) while prepaid customer count decreased by 0.177 million (down 5.9% year over year).

Quarterly retail postpaid churn rate was 0.96% compared with 1.03% in the year-ago quarter whereas total retail churn rate was 1.23% against 1.33% in the year-ago quarter. Of the total activated phones, smartphones accounted for 92.5% compared with 91.4% in the prior-year quarter.

Wireline Segment

Total revenue at the segment was $9,290 million, down 1.9% year over year. Consumer retail revenues were up 0.8% to $4,022 million. Small business revenues grossed $568 million, down 5.3%. Global Enterprise revenues declined 3.1% to $3,161 million. Global wholesale revenues decreased 4% to $1,463 million and Other revenues declined 15.6% to $76 million.

Operating expenses decreased 4% to $8,701 million. Operating income jumped 45.4% to $589 million. Quarterly operating income margin came in at 6.3% against 4.3% in the year-ago quarter. Segment EBITDA was up 1.2% to $2,177 million. EBITDA margin was 23.4% compared with 22.7% in the year-ago quarter.

At the end of the first quarter of 2016, FiOS video subscriber base was 5.863 million (up 2.2% year over year), FiOS Internet subscriber count was 7.132 million (up 5.7%) and FiOS digital voice residence connections totaled 4.8 million (up 3%). During the quarter, Verizon added 36,000 FiOS video subscribers, 98,000 FiOS Internet customers and 46,000 FiOS digital voice residential connections.

High-speed Internet connection tally dropped 16.5% to 2.086 million while total broadband connection number rose 0.3% to 9.218 million, Primary residence switched access connections decreased 15.3% to 4.573 million and Primary residence connections fell 6.8% to 9.373 million. Total retail residence voice connections declined 7.2% to 9.702 million and total voice connections decreased 7.4% to 18.037 million. Verizon lost 108,000 high-speed Internet subscribers in the reported quarter.

Stocks to Consider

Verizon currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same industry include Windstream Holdings Inc. WIN, West Corp. WSTC and United States Cellular Corp. USM. While Windstream currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both West Corp. and United States Cellular carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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VERIZON COMM (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
WINDSTREAM HLDG (WIN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
WEST CORP (WSTC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
US CELLULAR (USM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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