Verizon Communications fourth quarter 2013 results were important for several reasons. For starters, Verizon earned $1.76 per share, compared to a loss of $1.48 in the fourth quarter of 2012.
AT&T experienced a similar improvement, reporting $1.31 earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to a loss of $0.68) EPS in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Among key Verizon Communications fourth quarter metrics are revenue, average revenue per account and subscriber gains.
In its key mobile services segment, Verizon reported an eight percent year-over-year increase in service revenues in the fourth quarter of 2013; 29.5 percent operating income margin and 47 percent segment EBITDA margin on service revenues.
Retail postpaid average revenue per account--a closely watched metric--grew 7.1 percent over fourth-quarter 2012, to $157.21 per month.
For the full year, mobile segment operating income margin was 32.1 percent, up from 2012, while segment EBITDA margin was 49.5 percent (including non-service-related revenues), up year over year.
Verizon Wireless added 1.7 million retail net connections in the fourth quarter, including 1.6 million retail postpaid net connections. The company added 4.1 million net retail postpaid connections for the full year.
Some 87 percent of device activations in the fourth quarter of 2013 were phones, the balance being tablet and personal hotspot devices, for example.
Even in its fixed networks business, Verizon grew its consumer revenues 6.4 percent year-over-year, with consumer ARPU (average revenue per user) up 10.8 percent year over year.
If that seems unremarkable, consider the headwinds of declining access lines overall. In 2012, for example, total U.S. fixed lines declined 5.9 percent.
Still, mobile is key for Verizon. Total mobile revenues grew by $5.2 billion in 2013 and totaled $81 billion, representing 66 percent of Verizon's total revenue. In that regard, Verizon grew mobile revenues eight percent in the fourth quarter, the fifth consecutive quarter of at least eight percent revenue growth.
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