Verizon Wireless delivered strong subscriber growth in the fourth quarter, beating financial analysts' expectations, but the carrier also saw higher than usual churn and its margins dipped amid increasing promotions. Taken together, the results show that while Verizon continues to show resilience it is not immune to rising competition from Sprint, T-Mobile US and AT&T Mobility.
With a somewhat bumpy fourth-quarter reporting season expected for the Tier 1 wireless carriers, analysts at Jefferies are hoping for more "rational" pricing behavior from the large operators in 2015.
Xiaomi posted $56.1 million (347.5 million yuan) in net profit last year, according to a regulatory filing. The filing provides a glimpse inside the finances of privately owned Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi, which has rocketed up the rankings to become one of the world's top smartphone brands in the past few quarters.
Investors last week dumped the stocks of Verizon Communications, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile US in a hurry amid growing concerns that the carriers' wireless pricing battles are unsustainable long term and that rising costs of spectrum will combine with the price war to drive down carriers' profitability.
The Wall Street financial analysts who watch the nation's carriers are in a bit of a tizzy this week because Verizon and AT&T, the two dominant players in the market, are warning of pressure on earnings and margins from promotions and higher subscriber growth in the fourth quarter. The analysts are worried because they think the competition from T-Mobile US and Sprint could get more intense. I think that'd be fine if that happens. If Verizon and AT&T lost profits and customers to Sprint and T-Mobile, I'd say that would be a grand development for the U.S. market and would be broadly beneficial for consumers.
A top Verizon Communications executive said the carrier doesn't plan to reduce spending on its wireless network, despite the fact that it has largely completed its nationwide macro LTE buildout. At the same time, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said the carrier plans to increase its margins in its wireless business over time.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has been on the job for less than three months and has already taken several steps to revamp the carrier's business. However, financial analysts say that, in light of the company's gloomy third-quarter results, Claure will need to be much more aggressive in shaking up Sprint's business model if he wants to return the carrier to subscriber growth and financial profitability.
The device upgrade plans recently introduced by T-Mobile US, AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless could help spike the carriers' margins, according to a new research report, but that margin boost may be eroded by intensifying competition.
The device upgrade plans recently unveiled by T-Mobile US, AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless likely won't save too many customers money, but they could boost carriers' margins and increase smartphone sales for handset makers like Apple, analysts say.
Verizon Wireless reported a record-high profit margin in the first quarter of 2013 as it continued to benefit from its Share Everything shared data plans, which were introduced last June. The carrier said that its average revenue per account grew steadily, as it has in the past several quarters. Verizon said that 30 percent of its retail postpaid customers are now on its shared data plans.