Verizon posts strong broadband gains in the third quarter

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Verizon adds 144,000 net new broadband subscribers in Q3, which it says is the most since the fourth quarter of 2014. (Monica Alleven/Fierce Wireless)

Verizon posted strong broadband additions in Wednesday's third quarter earnings across its residential and consumer sectors. Verizon had 139,000 Fios Internet net additions, which was a marked increase from the 30,000 Fios internet net additions in third-quarter of last year.

Combining its business internet customers, Verizon added 144,000 net new broadband subscribers in Q3, which it said was the most since the fourth quarter of 2014. Verizon's broadband additions were boosted by remote workers and students that stayed home for online learning.

RELATED: Despite Covid-19, Verizon adds 10,000 residential broadband customers in Q2

By contrast, Verizon added 10,000 residential Fios broadband subscribers in the second quarter, which was markedly down from 59,000 Fios broadband connections in the first quarter.

Verizon's second quarter broadband numbers were impacted by its technicians not being able to enter customers' homes for installs due to the coronavirus pandemic. In April, Verizon was able to somewhat mitigate the impact of not being able to enter customers' homes with its "Fios in a box," which enables customers to self-install their services.

Along with the robust broadband additions, Verizon's bottom line was also lifted by strong demand for its phone services. Verizon added 283,000 postpaid phone subscribers in the third quarter, which easily beat the average estimate of 268,000, according to research firm FactSet. Consumer wireless service revenues were $13.4 billion in third-quarter 2020, a 0.7 percent decrease year-over-year.

Verizon continued to bleed out video subscriber losses in the third quarter. Citing the ongoing shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top services, Verizon lost 61,000 Fios video customers. 

As businesses of all sizes worked to re-open in the third quarter, Verizon Business' revenues were $7.7 billion, down 1.7 percent year-over-year.

Verizon's Q3 numbers

Verizon's net income slipped to $4.50 billion, or $1.05 per share in the quarter, from $5.34 billion, or $1.25 per share a year earlier. Verizon said Covid-19 led to a 5-cent net negative impact in the quarter.

Verizon reported third-quarter profit of $4.36 billion. Excluding some items, Verizon earned $1.25 per share, above analysts’ average estimate of $1.22.

Verizon posted revenue of $31.54 billion in the third quarter, which just missed Wall Street forecasts of $31.57 billion. Verizon said it now expects full-year 2020 adjusted EPS growth of 0% to 2% after a previous guidance range of -2% to 2%.

Wednesday's third quarter results marked the second full quarter for Verizon's results during Covid-19.