Verizon Predicts Sluggish Growth and Another Profit Decline in 2023

Wireless-giant Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) ended 2022 on a high note. After losing retail postpaid phone subscribers over the course of the first nine months of 2022, the

company managed to tack on 217,000 net postpaid phone subscribers in the fourth quarter. Businesses accounted for about 80% of those gains. Including all devices, Verizon

recorded retail postpaid net additions of more than 1.4 million, the best quarterly performance in seven years, according to the company. This big jump was driven by fixed

wireless access, tablets, and wearables. These figures exclude the impact of the shutdown of Verizon's 3G network, which occurred at the end of the fourth quarter. The end

of 3G service led to just over 900,000 wireless postpaid subscribers being removed from the customer base. Relative to analyst estimates, Verizon's fourth-quarter results

were positive. Total revenue grew 3.5% to $35.3 billion, beating the average estimate by $160 million, and non-GAAP earnings per share (EPS) of $1.19 was in-line with analyst

expectations. But the company's guidance for 2023 was a bit worse than expected. A multiyear profit slump Verizon expects to produce wireless service revenue growth

between 2.5% and 4.5% in 2023. For comparison, the company managed 8.6% growth in 2022. While Verizon struggled to win wireless subscribers throughout much of last year, revenue

was boosted by customers migrating to unlimited plans and higher prices implemented midyear.