Verizon's big iPhone quarter

Verizon reports strong third-quarter results, but the real takeaway is the number of iPhones it activated during the quarter.

By TheStreet.com Staff Oct 17, 2013 9:33AM

The gold colored version of the new iPhone 5S is seen after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013. The StreetBy Chris Ciaccia

 

Verizon (VZ) reported strong third-quarter earnings Thursday of 77 cents a share on revenue of $30.3 billion. The big takeaway, as usual, was the number of Apple (AAPL) iPhones activated during the quarter, and it was a lot.

 

Analyst Walter Piecyk from BTIG noted that Verizon activated 3.89 million iPhones during the quarter, up 25 percent from last year.

 

The iPhone continues as Verizon's most popular smartphone, accounting for just slightly more than 50 percent of contract activations during the quarter. During the quarter, Verizon added 1.1 million net retail connections, including 927,000 net retail postpaid connections, with a postpaid churn of 0.97 percent.

 

During the quarter, Apple announced the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, which have performed exceptionally well. In the phones' opening weekend, Apple announced it sold more than 9 million new iPhones and raised fiscal fourth-quarter guidance as a result.

 

We'll get the full iPhone numbers when Apple reports on Oct. 28 after the bell. Analysts are expecting Apple to report earnings of $7.88 a share on revenue of $36.76 billion, according to those surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

 

Shares of Verizon jumped in pre-market trading Thursday, gaining 2.9 percent to $48.61, while Apple was slightly higher, trading at $501.18.

 

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