Early gains turned to losses for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) on Wednesday. The Dow was down about 0.25% at 1:05 p.m. EDT today as investors weighed the chances of a stimulus bill being passed in the near future. The White House is negotiating with House Democrats on a large stimulus bill, but Senate Republicans are in favor of smaller measures.
Verizon (NYSE:VZ) stock was down slightly on Wednesday after the wireless carrier reported mixed third-quarter results. Moving in the opposite direction were Visa (NYSE:V) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) after both financial behemoths announced mobile payment solutions for businesses that put them in more direct competition with fintech companies like Square.
Verizon reports mixed results
Wireless giant Verizon came up a bit short of the average analyst estimate for revenue in its third-quarter report. The company generated revenue of $31.5 billion, down 4.1% year over year and $100 million below expectations. Verizon blamed lower customer activity and the timing of certain device launches for the decline.
Apple typically launches new iPhones in September. The tech giant delayed the iPhone launch this year due to the impact of the pandemic on its supply chain, so Verizon received no benefit during its third quarter.
Total consumer revenue was down 4.3% to $21.7 billion due to a "significant" decrease in wireless equipment revenue, the company said. Consumer wireless revenue slumped 0.7% to $13.4 billion. On the business side, revenue was down 1.7% to $7.7 billion. The media business also suffered, with revenue down 7.4% to $1.7 billion as the pandemic hurt search and advertising.
While Verizon's revenue came up short, the company beat expectations for earnings. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.25, unchanged from the prior-year period and $0.03 better than analysts were expecting.
For the full year, Verizon now expects to produce adjusted EPS growth between 0% and 2%, up from previous guidance calling for growth between minus 2% and 2%. For the fourth quarter, the company expects overall wireless service revenue to grow by at least 2%.
The profit beat and the slightly improved guidance weren't enough to impress investors. Verizon stock was down about 0.8% by early Wednesday afternoon.
Visa and JPMorgan Chase target mobile payments
Credit card giant Visa and mega-bank JPMorgan Chase are upping their game in the world of mobile payments for businesses. Both companies announced initiatives on Wednesday that will do battle with established fintech players like Square.
Visa announced the rollout of Tap to Phone in over a dozen markets on Wednesday, with plans to expand the service nationwide. Tap to Phone allows Android devices to act as contactless point-of-sale terminals without any additional hardware. The company has been piloting the system over the past year.
JPMorgan also made waves on Wednesday, announcing a checking account that's paired with a service called QuickAccept. The service allows merchants to accept card payments through a mobile app or contactless card reader, with sales going into the paired checking account on the same day. That quick turnaround time is offered at no cost, while competitors typically charge a fee. JPMorgan plans to migrate many of its 3 million small business customers to the new service.
Shares of Visa were up 0.4% by early Wednesday afternoon, and shares of JPMorgan were up 0.25%. Meanwhile, shares of fintech highflier Square had slumped about 4% on the news.