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Verizon Rides on Customer Loyalty and Subscriber Additions

Zacks Equity Research

Verizon Communications Inc. VZ recently revealed that its Wireless division has recorded 1.2 million retail postpaid net additions in fourth-quarter 2018. Of the total, around 650,000 were phone net additions. Retail postpaid phone churn was 0.82% in the said quarter, highlighting the telco behemoth’s growing customer loyalty.

Verizon is believed to have stepped into 2019 with significant momentum and expects solid traction in its wireless business to optimize growth opportunities in the upcoming 5G era while thwarting competition with innovative products and services. Notably, in 2018, the company launched the world’s first commercial 5G service — Verizon 5G Home — in parts of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento to give customers the first taste of commercial 5G network.

Verizon also boasts the latest 4G LTE Advanced technologies, offering faster peak data speeds and capacity for subscribers, driven by customer-focused planning and strategic investments. The company’s subscriber growth and churn rates improvements indicate that customers are increasingly joining its network due to reliability and new product offerings.

Verizon believes that 5G has immense possibilities in store. Management remains bullish on the industry's ability to grow revenues through greater penetration of smartphones and cloud computing as it remains confident that 2019 will bring more innovations and opportunities for its customers.

We will get a better picture of the state of operations once Verizon reports fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 results on Jan 29.

The company’s shares have gained 12.9% on an average compared with 0.3% growth recorded by the industry in the past year.

Verizon currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the industry include Cogent Communications Holdings, Inc. CCOI, Sprint Corporation S and ATN International, Inc. ATNI. While Cogent sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Sprint and ATN International carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.          

Cogent has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8%.

Sprint has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 19.6%.

ATN International surpassed earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters, the average positive surprise being 138.1%.

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