Verizon shares close little changed on Thursday, second-quarter earnings top estimates on stronger-than-expected phone subscriber growth

Verizon Communications Incs (VZ) second-quarter profit, reported on Thursday, exceeded Wall Street estimates, supported by much stronger growth in its net new phone subscribers than anticipated.

Verizon shares closed lower for a third consecutive trading session in New York on Thursday. The stock inched down 0.02% ($0.01) to $55.26, after touching an intraday high at $57.29, or a price level not seen since July 30th ($57.60).

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc have retreated 1.71% so far in 2019 compared with a 17.82% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2018, Verizon’s stock went up 6.22%, thus, it outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 6.24% loss.

Total operating revenue went down 0.4% year-on-year to $32.1 billion during the second quarter. In comparison, analysts on average had expected revenue of $32.41 billion.

A net 245 000 phone subscribers, who pay a monthly bill, were added during the past quarter. The figure compares with a net gain of 163 000 subscribers, expected by analysts on average.

Meanwhile, net income attributable to shareholders went down to $4.07 billion ($0.95 per share) during the quarter ended on June 30th from $4.25 billion ($1.00 per share) in the year-ago period.

Verizons earnings per share, which exclude special items, were reported at $1.23 during the second quarter, which exceeded a consensus of analyst estimates pointing to earnings of $1.20 per share.

”Verizon finished strong in the first half of 2019 by delivering solid financial results while transforming the business under the new operating structure and advancing our leadership in 5G,” Hans Vestberg, Verizon’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.

”Verizon made history this quarter by becoming the first carrier in the world to launch 5G mobility. We are focused on optimizing our next-generation networks and enhancing the customer experience while we head into the second half of the year with great momentum,” Vestberg added.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 18 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Verizon Communications Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $61.50, with a high estimate of $67.00 and a low estimate of $53.00. The median estimate represents an 11.29% upside compared to the closing price of $55.26 on August 1st.

The same media also reported that at least 16 out of 25 surveyed investment analysts had rated Verizon Communications Inc’s stock as “Hold”, while 9 – as “Buy”.

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