Unlimited' Boosts Verizon Subscribers

Verizon Communications Inc. gained net wireless subscribers in the quarter, as the continued expansion of its unlimited wireless data plans helped the company recover from its first ever quarterly net subscriber loss last quarter.

The company's revenue beat Wall Street expectations as profit met them. Verizon shares rose 1.4% in premarket trading.

Earlier this year, the U.S.'s largest wireless carrier by subscribers unexpectedly brought back its unlimited wireless plans for the first time since 2011, letting customers pay a flat rate for nearly unlimited monthly internet usage on their smartphones.

Verizon reported a net increase of 614,000 retail postpaid connections during the three months, including 358,000 phone additions. The company had 114.5 million total wireless retail connections, up from 113.2 million the same quarter last year and 113.9 million in the first quarter.

"Verizon reignited its growth engine in the quarter, both adding and retaining wireless customers while scaling our media business and continuing to invest in our superior networks," Chief Executive Lowell McAdam said in a statement.

Revenue from the wireless business, Verizon's largest, fell 1.9% to $21.3 billion. Revenue at the wireline segment that includes its FiOS service grew 1.2% to $7.8 billion.

Verizon said its service-revenue trend has reduced its decline as more undiscounted customers offset losses from customers upgrading to unlimited plans and no longer paying overage charges. It expects the service revenue trend to improve in the second half of the year.

In all, for the June quarter, Verizon reported net income of $4.36 billion, or $1.07 a share, compared with $702 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding certain items, Verizon earned 96 cents a share.

Meanwhile, revenue inched up 0.1% to $30.55 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected adjusted per-share profit of 96 cents on $29.91 billion in revenue.

During the quarter, Verizon's launched its newly formed digital-media division, called Oath, after closing its purchase of Yahoo assets. Verizon said Thursday that the unit, which includes brands like HuffPost, AOL and TechCrunch, has roughly $7 billion in annual revenue and that revenue in the quarter was "consistent" with results in the same quarter last year. The company said it wants to save $1 billion in cumulative operating expenses through 2020.

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 27, 2017 07:46 ET (11:46 GMT)