Waging wireless war isn't easy. But for investors tuning in this earnings season, there's no better gauge for who's winning than smartphone activations. Or, more specifically, iPhone activations.
Of the 9.8 million smart handsets Verizon (VZ 0.88%) activated in Q4, 6.2 million were iPhones. Investors can expect a sequential decline when the carrier reports earnings this week. But gains over last year's 3.2 million iPhones sold is also to be expected, especially in light of how slow AT&T (T 0.94%) has with offering LTE in major metropolitan areas.
For its part, Wall Street is expecting first-quarter revenue to grow 4.6% to $29.54 billion, resulting in $0.65 of profit per share. The company beat earnings estimates in each of the first three quarters of 2012, only to record a 10% miss in the Q4, according to data supplied by Yahoo! Finance. Verizon stock is up more than 34% over that period.
Would a beat help Verizon stock rally further? Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova weighs in on this question in the following video. Please watch and then leave a comment to let us know what you whether you would buy, sell, or short Verizon stock at current prices.