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(Associated Press)

Verizon Revenue Falls as Subscriber Additions Disappoint

Industries Reuters

Verizon Communications, the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier that has agreed to buy Yahoo's core business, reported a 6.7 percent drop in quarterly revenue as it added far fewer subscribers than expected.

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Verizon said on Thursday it added a net 442,000 retail postpaid subscribers, or those who pay their bills on a monthly basis, in the third-quarter ended Sept. 30.

Analysts were expecting 766,300, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Verizon, whose $4.83 billion deal to buy Yahoo Inc's core business has been shaken by a massive data breach at the internet company, said its total operating revenue fell to $30.94 billion from $33.16 billion.

Analysts had expected revenue of $31.14 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Verizon did not provide an update on the Yahoo deal in its earnings statement.

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Doubts about the deal have emerged since the data breach, involving 500 million email accounts, was reported in September. Verizon's general counsel has said the incident may represent a material event that could allow Verizon to back out of the deal.

However, Yahoo's better-than-expected quarterly profit and customer trends data reported this week allayed some concern that the deal could come unstuck.

Net income attributable to Verizon fell to $3.62 billion, or 89 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $4.04 billion, or 99 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.01 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 99 cents per share.

Churn, or customer defections, among postpaid wireless retail customers increased to 1.04 percent of total wireless subscribers, compared with the average estimate of 0.99 percent, according to FactSet.

Verizon's shares were down 2.5 percent at $49.10 in premarket trading. Up to Wednesday's close, the stock had risen 8.76 percent since the start of the year.

 

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)