Verizon's Q1 profits fall 8.4%

02 May 2007

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) Verizon's first quarter earnings fell 8.4% to $1.5 billion as strong showings in the mobile phone business and the crucial FiOS Internet and TV initiative were offset by the loss of income from assets the company sold over the past year.

The profit also was hurt by a larger-than-expected loss of traditional telephone customers to cable TV companies and other rival providers, but the bottom line edged most Wall Street forecasts.

'Our objective is to lose less lines this year, and we have not backed away from that,' Verizon president Denny Strigl said in a conference call after the report, stressing that the number of activations of Internet and FiOS services exceeded the 408,000 regular phone lines turned off during the quarter.

The profit for the first three months of 2007 amounted to $0.51 per share.
In the same period last year, before Verizon's spin-off of its phone directories business and another asset sale, earnings totaled $1.63 billion, $0.56 per share.
First-quarter revenue grew 6.4% to $22.58 billion from $21.23 billion a year earlier.

Leading the improvement again was Verizon Wireless, where revenues grew 17% to $10.31 billion as the business added 1.7 million customers, finishing the quarter with 60.7 million.

The average revenue per user rose 2.8% to $50.73 per month, driven by gains in non-voice services, especially music downloads.

Strigl said customers paid for 30 million music downloads, including full songs and ringtones. First-quarter revenue from those purchases was up 70% from a year earlier, he told The Associated Press in an interview, declining to provide a specific dollar amount.

But Verizon's consumer revenue fell 3.5% to $4.2 billion as the company continued to lose residential phone customers as well as long-distance subscribers from the acquired MCI business.

© 2007 The Associated Press

© 2007 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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