Verizon's Q4 Performance Spoiled by Hurricane Sandy, Rising Pensions

Verizon on Tuesday released its financial report for the fourth quarter of 2012, noting that its wireless business saw an 8.5 percent year-over-year increase in service revenues, along with 2.2 million retail net additions. The company also said that its 4G LTE service is now available to more than 273 million people in 476 markets across the U.S.

Big Red's wireline business also saw some growth with a 4.1 percent year-over-year increase in consumer revenues. Verizon added 144,000 FiOS Internet and 134,000 FiOS Video subscribers during the quarter, bringing the total to 5.4 million and 4.7 million, respectively.

Hurricane Sandy
Some of Verizon's Q4 losses were due to effects from Hurricane Sandy.

"Verizon seized growth opportunities in the fourth quarter to cap a year of solid progress across the entire business," said Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO. "We delivered a total return of 13.2 percent to shareholders in 2012, and we enter 2013 ready to accelerate the momentum we’ve achieved and create significant shareholder value in the years to come."

As promising as all that sounds, Verizon ended up posting a fourth quarter loss of $4.22 billion, or $1.48 per share, more than double from last year when Verizon posted a loss of $2 billion, or $0.71 per share. Verizon placed some of the blame on pension payments, which cut into earnings by $1.55 per share, and said that superstorm Sandy cost the company another 7 cents per share.
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