(Bloomberg) — Verizon Communications Inc. lost regular wireless subscribers for the first time in a year, a troubling sign as the company hustles to catch up with rivals AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. in a race for 5G customers.
The largest U.S. wireless carrier posted a loss of 170,000 monthly wireless subscribers in the first quarter. Analysts predicted 82,100 new customers. Earnings of $1.31 a share, excluding some items, topped analysts’ expectation of $1.29. Revenue of $32.9 billion was ahead of the estimate of $32.47 billion.See more details.
Verizon spent more than $52 billion on midband airwaves last month and plans to have these new 5G signals available to a third of the nation early next year.While AT&T and T-Mobile have been running free-phone promotions to keep and add customers, Verizon has been more measured in its offers. The difference can be measured in subscriber growth, where Verizon has lagged behind the pack.Verizon continues to see partnerships like its ones with Amazon.com Inc. and Corning Inc. as the best path to bring advanced 5G services from development to actual sales.
Verizon shares were up 0.2% to $58.50 at 9:38 a.m. in New York. The stock is up 2.8% from year-ago levels, while AT&T is about flat and T-Mobile is up 50%.
Read the statement.See Verizon estimates.
(Updates with shares in Market Reaction.)
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