Verizon Reports Spike in Net Income, Due to One-Time Items

Verizon's revenue is down slightly in the fourth quarter of 2010, with the drop due to a sell-off of telephone lines in rural states.

By Grant Gross
Tue, January 25, 2011

IDG News Service — Verizon Communications (VZ) reported revenue of US$26.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2010, down from $27.1 billion a year earlier, although net income nearly doubled because of gains from one-time items.

Verizon on Tuesday reported net income of $4.6 billion for the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009. The company reported earnings per share of $0.93, compared to $0.22 a year ago, but without one-time items, earnings per share was $0.54 for the most recent quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters (TRI) had expected earnings per share of $0.55.

Revenue, was down 2.6 percent, year over year, but the 2009 numbers included revenue from Verizon telephone operations in 14 rural states, since sold off. Excluding revenue from those rural states, income rose 2.3 percent, by $592 million.

Verizon had "strong results" in 2010, with "solid execution" across the company, Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg said in a statement. “Verizon Wireless produced another quarter of impressive growth, with record-high profitability, as we continue to drive higher smartphone adoption and data use."

Verizon Wireless added 803,000 retail customers during the quarter, the company reported. The company now has 102.2 million mobile customers, including machine-to-machine and telematics connections.

Wireless revenue was $16.1 billion, up 5.7 percent year over year. Retail data revenue was $5 billion, up 22.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009.

In the wireline data area, Verizon reported 197,000 new Fios broadband customers and 182,000 new Fios television customers during the quarter. At the end of the year, Verizon had 4.1 million Fios broadband and 3.5 million Fios TV customers.

Wireline broadband and video revenue, including Fios broadband, Fios TV and DSL service, was $1.8 billion for the fourth quarter of 2010, up 18.4 percent from a year earlier. At the end of the year, Verizon had 8.4 million broadband customers, an increase of 2.8 percent over the end of 2009.

Overall wireline revenue, including revenue from traditional telephone service, was $10.3 billion for the quarter, a decline of 2.8 percent over a year earlier.

Revenue for the year was $106.6 billion, down from $107.8 billion in 2009. Net income for 2010 was $10.2 billion, down from $11.6 billion in 2009.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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