REUTERS: Verizon Communications Inc beat estimates for third-quarter profit on Wednesday, helped by strong demand for its phone and internet services as offices and schools continued to operate virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The health crisis has brought global economies to a halt, but the telecom sector has been relatively less affected. With lockdowns easing, Verizon gradually reopened all of its company-operated retail stores in the quarter, implementing touch-less retail, appointments and curbside pickups.
Verizon added 283,000 postpaid phone subscribers in the third quarter, above the average estimate of 268,000, according to research firm FactSet.
Total operating revenue fell 4.1per cent to US$31.54 billion, which the company attributed to lower customer activity and the timing of certain device launches.
Apple Inc, one of Verizon's key partners, has delayed the launch of its new iPhones by about a month this year.
Revenue in Verizon's media unit, which includes Yahoo, HuffPost and TechCrunch, declined 7.4per cent in the quarter to US$1.7 billion from a year earlier as companies cut down on advertising to rein in expenses.
Net income fell to US$4.50 billion, or US$1.05 per share in the quarter, from US$5.34 billion, or US$1.25 per share a year earlier, with about 5 cents of COVID-19-related net impact, Verizon said.
Excluding items, Verizon earned US$1.25 per share, above analysts' average estimate of US$1.22.
The company also said it now expects full-year 2020 adjusted EPS growth of 0per cent to 2per cent. Its prior guidance range was -2per cent to 2per cent.
(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)