Verizon reports Q4 revenues up 15 percent; FiOS looking good

This morning Verizon announced its fourth quarter 2008 earnings were up 15 percent. The company missed its expected earnings per share of 62 cents by a penny. FiOS was a record quarter, while landlines (still) continue to decline.

Verizon reported $24.6 billion in fourth quarter revenues, with adjusted non-GAAP growth of 4.6 percent. Good results came due to wireless's continued growth, with the cellular business bringing in 1.4 million "organic" net customer additions, 1.2 million total net customer additions once a Q3 exchange agreement with Rural Cellular is counted, for a total of 72.1 million total customers.  And that's not including Alltel's customers. ARPU growth continues for the 11th consecutive quarter, with data revenues up 41.1 percent. Since there's a "strong" 47.2 percent EBITDA margin on service revenues, life is good.

On the wireline side, the company brought in $11.9 billion. Both Telecom (domestic consumer and small business customers) and Verizon Business had 2.3 percent year-over year quarterly revenue declines; Telecom's decline was the smallest decrease in 12 quarters.

Verizon counted 303,000 net new FiOS TV customers and 282,000 net new FiOS Internet customers, the largest quarterly growth ever for the company. At the end of 2008, the company had 1.9 million FiOS TV customers, adding nearly a million TV customers since the end of 2007. It counted nearly 2.5 million FiOS Internet customers at the end of 2008, adding nearly a million since the end of 2007. ARPU for FiOS customers continues to grow and is now at $133 a month.

By the financial numbers, broadband and video revenues from consumers totaled nearly $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008 - a year-over-year quarterly growth of 42 percent. Broadband and video services drove consumer ARPU in "legacy" wireline markets to $68.45 for the quarter.

Sales of strategic business services like IP, managed services, Ethernet and optical ring services generated $1.5 billion of revenue in the quarter, up 8.4 percent from fourth quarter 2007.

Landline numbers continued to decline as a whole, with 460,000 residential and 911,000 total lines lost in the quarter.  All total, the number of primary lines in service sank 12.2% from 2007 earlier to 20.96 million.

For more:
- ZD blogs the conference call.
- Dow Jones provides some summary.

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