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Verizon’s first quarter 2019 earning surpass expectations due to strong wireless growth

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Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) reported first quarter earnings per share (EPS) of $1.22 compared with $1.11 in the first quarter of 2018, and an adjusted EPS of $1.20 compared to $1.17 last year, defying analyst expectations.

In the earnings report released April 23, the telecommunications giant reported revenues of $32.1 billion, compared to $31.8 billion in the first quarter of 2018. The increase is due in large part to the success of the company’s wireless division.

Verizon’s net income was $5.2 billion in the first quarter. EBITDA (non-GAAP, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) totaled around $12.2 billion, a 2.7 percent increase year-over-year, and its consolidated operating income margin was 24 percent. Consolidated EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 38.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019, compared with 36.4 percent in the same quarter of 2018.

The company’s service revenues rose 4.4 percent during the first three months of the year, despite a decrease of 44,000 in net phone subscribers. Verizon reported 61,000 additional retail net postpaid additions, including 174,000 postpaid smartphone net additions.

“Verizon began 2019 by extending our leadership position in 4G, driving innovation in 5G and expanding our high-valued customer relationships,” Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg said in the report. “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. Our ambition remains unchanged to provide the most advanced next-generation networks in the world.”

Verizon shares were 1.1 percent higher in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release, indicating an opening price of $58.73 per share.

The quarter instilled optimism in the company, leading to a prediction of continued growth throughout the year, according to the report.

“The company expects low single-digit percentage growth in adjusted EPS, excluding the impact of the new lease accounting standard,” the report says. “This is an increase from prior guidance for 2019 adjusted EPS to be similar to 2018, excluding the impact of the new lease accounting standard.”

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