Verizon Wireless yesterday reported a fourth-quarter loss of $653 million, citing charges related to job cuts. The company experienced a loss of 23 cents in diluted earnings per share (EPS), compared with EPS of 43 cents per share in the fourth quarter 2008. As a result, the company announced that it would be cutting an additional 13,000 jobs this year.
The nation's largest wireless carrier added 2.2 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, up from 1.2 million in the same time period last year. Wireless retail postpaid churn came in at 1.06 percent, while total retail churn was 1.44 percent. Total data ARPU (average revenue per user) stood at $16.04 in the fourth quarter, up from $13.58 in the same time period last year. As of the end of the quarter, Verizon Wireless had 91.2 million wireless subscribers.
On the earnings call, Verizon Wireless executives said that they were comfortable with the network's capability to handle any level of data strain from the company's smartphone options. Despite carrying the Palm Pre Plus, Pixi Plus, Motorola DROID, HTC Droid Eris, and numerous BlackBerry offerings, analysts were slightly disappointed in the results. “Revenue per customer isn’t growing. So while the wireless business is doing really well, it’s not the growth engine it used to be," said Craig Moffett, a senior research analyst with Bernstein Research.
Sadly, that's true in today's wireless arena. With the wireless market nearly saturated, individuals are either picking up a second device or hopping between wireless carriers. At any rate, 91.2 million subscribers and churn of 1.06 percent sounds pretty darn good to me. Wonder how the other carriers will perform?