Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Verizon will not use tax cut windfall to increase network investments

Verizon Communications reported revenues in fourth-quarter 2017 of $34.0 billion, up 5.0 percent from fourth-quarter 2016. Net income was $18.8 billion in fourth-quarter 2017. EBITDA totaled approximately $9.2 billion.The company reported EPS of $4.56, compared with $1.10 in fourth-quarter 2016. On an adjusted basis (non-GAAP), fourth-quarter 2017 EPS was 86 cents, compared with 86 cents in fourth-quarter 2016.

Verizon said the recently passed tax-reform legislation will have a positive impact to cash flow from operations in 2018 of approximately $3.5 billion to $4 billion, which it plans to strengthen its balance sheet -- not for increased network CAPEX or increased wages.

Full-year consolidated revenues declined approximately 2 percent in 2017 to $126.0 billion, compared with 2016. For full-year 2017, Verizon reported $7.36 in EPS, compared with $3.21 in full-year 2016. In 2017, Verizon made $9.5 billion in cash dividend payments to shareholders.

“Verizon finished 2017 with great momentum, led by some of the best customer growth and loyalty results Verizon Wireless has delivered in recent years,” said Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam.

“In 2018 we look to drive long-term shareholder value by deploying next-generation network services, leveraging global platforms such as Oath, and using our strategic Humanability approach to turn innovative ideas into realities.”

Highlights for the quarter

  • Oath, Verizon’s media business, generated revenues of $2.2 billion in fourth-quarter 2017, up approximately 10 percent from third-quarter 2017, driven by increased customer advertising spending during the holidays. 
  • In telematics, revenues were more than $230 million in fourth-quarter 2017. IoT revenues increased approximately 17 percent year over year, and 8 percent on an organic basis (non-GAAP).

Wireless results

  • Verizon reported a net increase of 1.2 million retail postpaid connections in fourth-quarter 2017. 
  • Net phone additions of 431,000 included 647,000 smartphones, compared with 456,000 smartphone additions in fourth-quarter 2016. 
  • Total retail postpaid net adds in fourth-quarter 2017 included 193,000 tablet and 550,000 other connected device net adds, led by wearables.
  • Added 40,000 customer accounts in Q4. The company ended 2017 with 116.3 million total retail connections -- 110.9 million postpaid connections and 5.4 million prepaid connections.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 1.00 percent in fourth-quarter 2017, a year-over-year improvement of 10 basis points.
  • Total revenues were $23.8 billion in fourth-quarter 2017, an increase of 1.7 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2016 and the company’s first year-over-year wireless revenue growth in two years. 

Wireline results

  • Total wireline revenues increased 0.1 percent year over year in fourth-quarter 2017 and 0.6 percent for the full year.
  • Total wireline revenues declined 3.6 percent year over year in fourth-quarter 2017.
  • Total Fios revenues grew 2.3 percent, and consumer Fios revenues grew 1.7 percent, comparing fourth-quarter 2017 with fourth-quarter 2016.
  • In fourth-quarter 2017, Verizon added a net of 47,000 Fios Internet connections and lost a net of 29,000 Fios Video connections, continuing to reflect the shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings. 
  • At year-end 2017, Verizon had 5.9 million Fios Internet connections and 4.6 million Fios Video connections.
  • Wireline operating income was $62 million in fourth-quarter 2017, and segment operating income margin was 0.8 percent.