Verizon's Q1 earnings down, but business services show signs of life

Much like its RBOC brother AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon's (NYSE:VZ) Q1 2010 earnings were another tale of slow wireless growth and continuing declines in its traditional wireline business.

Verizon's first quarter earnings were down 29 percent, with profits slipping to $2.28 billion, or 14 cents per share, from $3.21 billion, or 58 cents per share a year ago. Revenues rose 1.2 percent to $26.92 billion. But just as AT&T previously announced, Verizon's quarterly revenues were also impacted by a non-cash charge related to U.S. healthcare reform laws.

Overall Q1 2010 wireline revenues were $11.2 billion, down 2.9 percent versus Q1 2009. Still, these results illustrated a 1.0 percent improvement compared with year-over-year Q4 09 revenue declines.  

Along with seeing its FiOS FTTH subscriber base grow in Q1, another potential bright spot for Verizon is its Verizon Business division. During the quarter, Verizon reported $1.6 billion in sales of security, IT and strategic products, a 4.2 percent increase over Q1 2009. At the same time, business customer premises equipment sales were up 6.9 percent.

"We saw good customer growth in wireless and FiOS, and we may be seeing some positive early signs of recovery in the business market," Chief Financial Officer John Killian said in the earnings conference call. Killian added that revenue increased more than in two previous quarters.

Still, Verizon's wireline business is not out of the woods yet. Killian said Verizon will continue to look at ways to reduce costs, including more layoffs. During the first quarter, Verizon laid off 2,300 wireline workers as part of a company-wide plan to reduce its headcount by 13,000 this year.

For more:
- see the release here
- Reuters has this article
- FierceIPTV reports on FiOS, broadband growth

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