Verizon Communications’ third quarter results were paced by an increase in its wireless subscriber growth, but its profit fell by a third when compared to a year ago due to one-time charges and merger related items.
Verizon’s third-quarter net income from the July-September period was $1.27 billion, or 44 cents a share, compared to $1.92 billion, or 66 cents a share, year ago. The 34 percent drop was partially due to expenses related to a minority investment in Vodafone Omitel.
Verizon Wireless, which Verizon jointly owns with Vodafone, added 1.8 million net retail customers in the quarter for a total of 63.7 million subscribers.
Verizon added 202,000 new subscribers to its FiOS video service in the third quarter for a total of 717,000 video customers. Verizon has a total of 1.5 million video customers through its arrangements with satellite providers. On the high-speed data side, Verizon added 229,000 new FiOS Internet subscribers.
During a Monday morning conference call, Verizon COO Denny Strigl said that Verizon expects to post a profit in 2008 on its FiOS services before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.
“Our third-quarter results show that we have hit our stride as a leading wireless, broadband and enterprise company," said Verizon chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg, in a prepared statement "In recent years, we have transformed our business model and revenue base. Our results throughout 2007, and especially in the third quarter, show that our strategy has been successful. We expect to build on these results in the fourth quarter and beyond."
Verizon bought back almost $800 million of its shares in the quarter and plans on buying back an additional $500 million to $2.5 billion this year.