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Verizon (VZ) Gears Up for Black Friday Rush, Announces Offers

Zacks Equity Research

Per a recent FierceTelecom report, Verizon Communications Inc VZ has come up with a range of wireline and wireless offers for Thanksgiving shoppers.

Currently, Verizon carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Wireline Offers

Verizon is trying to attract fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) customers through a five-day promotion, starting from Thanksgiving Day on Nov 23 till Nov 27.

The company will offer custom TV and phone online for $79.99 per month to new customers who subscribe for Fios Gigabit Connection. Customers who opt for a two-year agreement can also choose a new Google Home, Nest Thermostat E, or a $100 Target Gift Card. The Fios Gigabit Connection bundle will come with a two-year price guarantee and SHOWTIME. Multi-room DVR (Digital Video Recorder) service for two years will be available throughout the holiday season.

Fios continues to be an important growth driver for Verizon’s wireline segment. We observed impressive subscriber addition in the wireline segment in third-quarter 2017. During the quarter, Verizon gained 11,000 FiOS digital voice residential customers and 66,000 FiOS Internet subscribers. However, the company lost 18,000 FiOS video users. As of Sep 30, FiOS video subscriber base totaled 4.648 million, down 0.5% year over year. FiOS Internet subscriber count was 5.803 million (up 3.9%) and FiOS digital voice residence customers totaled 3.920 million (up 1%).

Fios Gigabit Connection continues to gain popularity among customers. The company has not disclosed the number of customers subscribed to the 1 Gbps service.

Wireless Offers

Verizon Wireless is offering attractive discounts on smartphone purchases. Under Verizon Unlimited, the telco is offering a $378 discount, which will be credited to the customer's account. The selected latest models under the offer include Google Pixel 2, Google Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Moto Z2 Force.

Additionally, Verizon will give a $100 discount on the purchase of select smartphones — Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S7, Google Pixel and Pixel XL, LG G6 and V20, Moto Z Force, and Kyocera Dura Force Pro. Discounts are also available on iPads. However, Verizon has not announced any iPhone offer for Black Friday.

Black Friday Shopping

Black Friday has typically been a dreaded day for the U.S. economy. The phrase initially referred to the day the American gold market crashed on Sep 24, 1869.

Accordingly, the Black Friday deals were not so popular until the 1980s. There was no official initiation of the current trend of discounts and hype.  However, during the later part of the 80s, some retailers came up with a way to utilize the day to boost sales.

Since then, Black Friday has morphed/changed into something different from what its name suggests. Deals now start on Thanksgiving and run all the way through Small Business Saturday/Sunday into Cyber Monday. The shopping frenzy has spread to the U.K. and places that do not even observe the holiday.

However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that Black Friday overtook the Friday before Christmas as the most popular shopping day of the year.

Black Friday has evolved into its own Thanksgiving shopping season that tends to drive retail stocks during the last two weeks of November.

Verizon’s Recent Deals

Verizon and AT&T have inked a joint deal with Tillman Infrastructure to build cell towers in the United States. Privately-held Tillman is the owner and operator of towers, small cells and smart cities infrastructure. Per the deal, Tillman will construct customized towers and lease it to Verizon and AT&T. Construction of the towers will begin in the first quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, Verizon, Comcast Corp CMCSA and The Walt Disney Company DIS are eyeing some of the lucrative assets of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc FOXA.

Price Performance

Despite such positives, Verizon portrays a disappointing price performance. In the past three months, shares of Verizon have lost 2.4% compared with the industry’s decline of 8.6%.

 



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