Today's press announcement, of course, emphasized the positive aspects in its headline, such as Verizon's 6.7% increase in overall sales to $18.2 billion and the 23% increase in wireless revenues alone. (In fact, Verizon Wireless contributed more than 40% of the company's total sales.) However, the company's third-quarter net income was flat, at $1.8 billion, or $0.64 per diluted share, after a $20 million, $0.01-per-share special item related to pension settlements.
Industrywide, stalwart telecom companies such as AT&T
Despite the increasing migration of just about everyone and their brother to broadband, even that is questionable as a growth vehicle, though Verizon showed some positive aspects in that regard, with a 52% increase in DSL subscriptions since this time last year.
However, it's still impossible to ignore the fact that cable companies such as Comcast
Other notes of interest included Verizon Wireless's low churn rate of 1.5%. The company's free cash flow decreased a bit compared with this time last year; on the other hand, it reduced its debt burden by 10.7% to $40.5 billion.
Although some may argue that now's the time to pick the future winners in the telecom industry, it's clear that it's still experiencing a massive amount of turmoil and competition. With some of the positive aspects of today's quarterly results, it's arguable that Verizon is one of the stronger players in the beleaguered industry, with its hold on wireless customers and its high-speed Internet offerings. However, given the current climate, the industry is enough to make anybody a bit skittish.
Are you wondering what other stocks are among the Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks? Try it for six months, risk-free.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. She gets her home broadband service from Verizon.