Verizon's earnings top expectations
Communications giant and Dow component Verizon (VZ) just announced its quarterly earnings, will it be enough to turn around a bearish morning for the Dow? Let's take a look. The country's top-rated mobile-phone company reported a first-quarter profit jump of slightly more than five percent. For the quarter, VZ pulled in 63 cents per share when the results were adjusted for one-time items. Not only were the results two cents better than a year ago, but VZ also topped the consensus estimate by four cents per share. Quarterly revenue increased to $26.6 billion, a jump of 11.6 percent. The revenue results were slightly better than the $26.3 billion expected by the Street.
Looking at the company's core wireless results, VZ added 86.6 million total customers - an increase of 28.8 percent. During the quarter the company saw 84.1 million retail customers, which was 29% better than a year ago, and 1.3 million net customer additions. Nearly all of the new customers were retail customers. VZ's wireless segment saw total revenue increase nearly 30 percent (29.6 percent to be exact). VZ also noted that the integration of Alltel operations is currently on schedule.
VZ's FiOS TV raked in 299,000 new customers and pulled in a record 298,000 new Internet customers. In total, FiOS TV has 2.2 million customers and FiOS Internet has 2.8 million customers.
Ivan Seidenberg, VZ Chairman and CEO stated that the company's "business groups executed with excellence in the first quarter." Seidenberg added that the firm's "operational and financial discipline produced continued revenue and earnings growth, as well as an expansion of our already strong operating cash flows. A highlight of the quarter was our successful completion of the Alltel acquisition." The CEO stated that the company is focused on "delivering value to customers and on returning cash to our shareowners" in the current economic environment.
So, what could this report do for the company's stock? Let's take a look at VZ's technical performance. Keep in mind that the stock was flat in pre-market trading (at last check). Starting with a long-term monthly view, the stock is battling with overhead resistance from its 10- and 20-month moving averages. The last time VZ finished a month atop both of these trendlines was January 2008. Will this earnings report be enough to push the stock through this substantial resistance? We shall see, but the good news is that this resistance is directly overhead -- shortening the necessary rally to topple the resistance. The stock also faces resistance from the $32 level, which also lies directly overhead.
The positive technical news comes from VZ's weekly chart. The stock's 10-week moving average is on the cusp of a bullish cross of its 20-week counterpart. This morning's news could help further this move, which could be a bullish technical formation for the equity.
Will the company be able to repeat its first-quarter results in the current economic environment? VZ has a plan to continue offering exceptional value for the money, but so do many other companies. Will VZ be able to carry the first-quarter results through to the rest of the year? It will be tough for all companies to continue achieving solid results as consumers continue to tighten their collective belt. We will have to see what sort of incentives VZ can offer its potential and current customers in order to continue growing its subscribership.