Verizon fourth quarter earnings fall short of analyst expectations

Verizon this morning reported adjusted fourth quarter earnings of 86 cents per share, on revenue of $32.3 billion.

On the earnings side, that falls short of what Wall Street analysts had expected — EPS of 89 cents per share and $32.1 billion in revenue. That also marks a 5.6 percent revenue decline from the fourth quarter of 2015.

Verizon said it added 591,000 postpaid wireless subscribers during Q4, compared to the 726,000 predicted by analysts.

“We are positioning Verizon for future growth and continued sustainable shareholder value,” said Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam in the earnings release. “In the fourth quarter we expanded our customer base in highly competitive wireless and broadband markets. … We enter 2017 with confidence, based on our investments in next-generation networks and the new capabilities we have acquired. Our goal is to continue to earn our customers’ loyalty every day in a rapidly expanding mobile-first digital world.”

The digital media side (led by AOL, which owns TechCrunch) saw $532 million in revenue, minus traffic acquisition costs. That’s down 5 percent year-over-year, although Verizon attributes this partly to “a revenue lift in fourth-quarter 2015 related to AOL’s Microsoft deal.” Verizon also says that its Internet of Things revenue grew 21 percent (minus acquisitions) to $243 million.

As for the announced Yahoo acquisition, Verizon merely says it “continues to work with Yahoo to assess the impact of data breaches.” Yahoo revealed yesterday that the expected closing date of the deal had been pushed back to the second quarter of 2017 due to two separate revelations of major hacks . (The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating why it took Yahoo so long to disclose these hacks.)

Verizon also confirmed yesterday that it had laid off 155 employees working on its mobile video service Go90. The team from subscription video service Vessel (acquired by Verizon last fall) has been charged with rebuilding the app.

As of 7:42am Eastern time, Verizon stock was down 1.7 percent in pre-market trading.