Verizon's profit sinks as it loses wireless subscribers


According to the company, revenue dropped from $32.17 billion in the same period past year to $29.81 billion, missing analysts' estimates of $30.77 billion.

And Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam further fueled the merger talks earlier this week, saying in an interview with Bloomberg that he'd be open to talks with Disney, Comcast or CBS if the heads of any of those companies gave him a call about a deal. But he added, "We are very confident with the strategy that we have". In premarket trading on Thursday, the company's shares sunk over 2%, while the stocks have dropped by over 8% from the starting of this year.

Verizon is set to begin fixed wireless trials this month using prestandard 5G technology and the 28 GHz spectrum band, with plans to hit 11 markets by mid-year, including including portions of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta; Bernardsville, New Jersey; Brockton, Massachusetts; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Miami; Sacramento, California; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

"The company needs a strategic transaction to support their wireless business for the long-term", Jonathan Chaplin, an analyst at New Street Research LLC, wrote in a research note Thursday.

The competitive wireless market has led to speculation that Verizon will try to buy another company to broaden its business. That's insane. I can't even tell you the last time Verizon lost phone customers.

Verizon unexpectedly brought back unlimited data plans in February, which it had stopped selling in 2011, seeking to blunt the appeal of similar offers from T-Mobile and Sprint.

The move into unlimited data marked an about-face for Verizon, which steadfastly has refused to offer unlimited data plans for fear of obliterating the bottom line, choosing instead to focus on network quality for the highest-paying customers.

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This New York-based carrier was once the superlative leader of the wireless industry in the USA, whereas now it is battling to retain subscribers and getting them to opt for the paid premium service.

Ellis said a big customer exodus through the first six weeks of the quarter forced Verizon to go unlimited. However, thanks to the unlimited plan because they gain more than what is expected.

Capital expenditures totalled $3.1 billion in first-quarter 2017, as Verizon carried on spending on its network. "The coming quarters will probably look a lot different than the past quarters".

Overall, for the March quarter, Verizon reported net income of $3.45 billion, or 84 cents a share, compared with $4.31 billion, or $1.06 a share, in the year-ago period. This was down from $4.31 billion, or $1.06 per share, reported in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue fell 7 percent to $29.81 billion, missing analyst expectations of $30.5 billion, according to Zacks.

Verizon Wireless also reports that its Q1 2017 total revenues finished at $20.9 billion, down 5.1 percent from Q1 2016.