FILE PHOTO: A man stands next to the logo of Verizon at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo
(Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc on Tuesday raised its 2019 profit forecast and beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly earnings, as the largest U.S. wireless carrier prepares for a wider 5G services rollout in the United States.
The carrier now expects low single-digit percentage growth in adjusted profit, after previously saying that its 2019 profit would be similar to what it reported a year earlier.
Verizon launched its 5G mobile network in two cities in the United States last month at an additional cost of $10 for customers with existing unlimited plans. It plans to spend $17 billion to $18 billion this year to build its network.
The company, however, said it lost a net 44,000 phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill in the first quarter. Analysts had expected a loss of 25,000 subscribers, according to research firm FactSet.
Net income attributable to the company rose to $5.03 billion, or $1.22 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31 from $4.55 billion, or $1.11 per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, Verizon earned $1.20 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.17, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Total operating revenue rose about 1 percent to $32.13 billion during the quarter, falling slightly short of analysts’ estimates of $32.16 billion.
Shares of the company rose 2 percent before the bell.
Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr and Anil D’Silva