Telecom giant Verizon said its first-quarter net income rose 32% to $4.55 billion, or $1.11 a share, in the first quarter thanks in part to benefits from federal tax reform.
The results compared with $3.45 billion, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier. Total revenue in the period rose nearly 7% to $31.8 billion.
In Verizon’s media business, Oath, a seasonal decrease in display advertising caused gross revenue to decrease 13% from the fourth quarter (the best comparison, rather than the year-ago quarter, given the timing of the unit’s full integration). The company pointed to the media unit as being key to the company’s “mobile-first media strategy,” especially given the potential growth from premium content distribution and programmatic advertising.
Total Fios revenue, excluding the impact of the revenue recognition standard, grew 1.9% year over year, driven by growing demand for high-quality broadband service. Verizon added a net of 66,000 Fios Internet connections in the quarter and lost 22,000 Fios video connections, indicative of the continued cord-cutting trend regarding traditional linear video bundles.
“We began 2018 with strong momentum, and we expect it to continue throughout the year,” said Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam.
The company will definitely remain of interest to Hollywood and media players through the duration of the year and beyond. It already took a close look at 21st Century Fox’s studio assets before the Disney deal was announced and has been seen as an interested party in regard to companies such as Lionsgate, Viacom and CBS.
McAdam and other execs are scheduled to discuss the quarterly results with analysts during a conference call later this morning.