Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) has experienced one of its worst weeks in recent memory, with its stock plummeting 10%. VZ published an earnings report that was unimpressive to say the least, just as competitor AT&T emancipated itself from the shackles of its Warner Media sector so that it may now exclusively focus on its telecommunications operations.
It’s losing customers while AT&T is gaining them, revenue growth is now expected to be at the low end of previous guidance, profits are declining and the broader issues afflicting the rest of the economy, rampant inflation, rising labor costs and higher fuel and electricity prices are also wreaking havoc on the carrier. Yet, with VZâ€™s stock trading at nine times trailing earnings and eight times next year’s expectations, is now the time to buy the telecommunications stock?
With 91.4 million postpaid phone connections and 23.8 million prepaid phone connections, VZ is the largest cellular network in the United States. Its network also acts as the foundation for Comcast and Charter Communicationâ€™s mobile virtual network operations (MVNOs). Despite the fact that it lost consumers this quarter (which was much fewer than the year before), its business division attracted 256,000 net postpaid subscribers, helping to reduce overall losses to just 36,000, far less than Wall Street’s prediction of 100,000.
The average revenue per account increased 2.6% to $123.96, while overall cellular revenue increased 9.5% to $18.3 billion, owing in part to the addition of 20 million prepaid Tracfone users acquired from America Movil.
VZ is also set to benefit greatly from the shift to 5G networks, which will significantly boost upload and download speeds. It possesses the most spectrum in the sub-6 gigahertz range, where 5G will be first implemented and it leads in millimeter-wave spectrum, where the industry will eventually finish up.
Its fixed wireless assets are also being used to extend its home-internet offerings. It gained 112,000 new customers in the first quarter, which is 2.5 times higher than the fourth quarter.
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