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Why Verizon Stock Fell 10.2% in the First Half of 2020

By Keith Noonan – Updated Jul 9, 2020 at 3:52PM

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The telecom stock has lost ground this year, but the company's business still looks pretty resilient.

What happened

Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ 0.52%) slumped 10.2% in the first six months of the year, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The telecommunications stock lost ground amid the market's coronavirus-driven sell-offs and mixed earnings reports that highlighted the highly competitive state of the mobile wireless industry.

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^SPX data by YCharts.

The coronavirus pandemic spurred closures for the majority of Verizon's stores, creating a more difficult environment for mobile hardware and service upgrades. The company's business held up relatively well, but coronavirus headwinds and the need to rely heavily on promotions to drive customer growth weighed on the company's valuation.  

A mobile phone displaying charts and graphs.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Verizon posted fourth-quarter earnings at the end of January, with adjusted earnings per share of $1.13 on revenue of $34.8 billion. The average analyst estimate, as polled by FactSet, had called for EPS of $1.14 on revenue of $34.6 billion.

The telecom company then published first-quarter results in April, with adjusted EPS of $1.26 per share, and sales of $31.6 billion. The average analyst estimate had targeted EPS of $1.22 on sales of $32.4 billion. The company closed out the quarter having lost 525,000 net consumer postpaid wireless subscribers, but it managed to add 475,000 postpaid retail customers.

Now what

Verizon stock has lost a bit more ground in July's trading and is down roughly 1% in the month so far. 

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^SPX data by YCharts.

Verizon withdrew its full-year sales target when it published first-quarter results in April, but it expects that full-year adjusted EPS will come in somewhere between 2% lower and 2% higher than last year's $4.65.

Verizon stock trades at roughly 11 times this year's earnings and has a dividend yield of about 4.5%.

Keith Noonan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Verizon Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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