Verizon's iPhone effect to dominate Q1 carrier earnings

The first-quarter earnings season is rapidly approaching, and all eyes will be on Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) results to determine the effect of the carrier's Feb. 10 launch of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone on AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and other wireless carriers. 

AT&T reports its earnings April 20, Verizon on April 21 and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) on April 28.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires expect Verizon to record twice as many subscriber additions in the first quarter as it did the first quarter of 2010. Verizon added 1.6 million new subscribers in the first quarter last year; however, the company added only 423,000 retail postpaid customers that quarter. Research firm comScore reported Verizon sold well over 1 million iPhones in February.

For its part, AT&T executives have stressed they expect to lose some market share as a result of the Verizon iPhone. According to Dow Jones Newswires, analysts at Wells Fargo expect AT&T to report 150,000 net postpaid subscriber losses for the quarter.

Meanwhile, Sprint is looking to build on the momentum generated by its positive fourth quarter results, when it notched net postpaid additions of 58,000 subscribers--the carrier's first net postpaid additions since the second quarter of 2007. Sprint has said it expects to achieve positive postpaid net subscriber additions for 2011, which Sprint CEO Hesse has said will be primarily due to reducing churn.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article

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