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Verizon Hints Yahoo Acquisition On The Rocks After Mixed Q4 Results

From Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) early Tuesday posted mixed Q4 results and hinted that its pending Yahoo acquisition could suffer more than just delays as it works to fully realize the implications of a record data breach.

The New York City-based telecom giant reported Q4 EPS of $0.86, which was $0.03 worse than the Wall Street consensus estimate of $0.89. Revenues fell 5.6% from last year to $32.34 billion, topping analysts’ $32.12 view, however.

Verizon intimated 591,000 retail postpaid wireless phone service net additions in the fourth quarter, with 552,000 (93%) of those additions including 4G LTE smartphones. At year-end 2016, VZ said it had 114.2 million retail wireless connections, up 1.9% from the year-ago period.

Looking ahead, VZ said that 2017 EPS and revenues will “be fairly consistent with 2016,” while analysts are expecting a slight increase.

Addressing its pending acquisition of Yahoo’s (YHOO) core businesses, the VZ said that “Verizon continues to work with Yahoo to assess the impact of data breaches.” That comment is in contrast with Yahoo’s claim yesterday that the deal is slated to close in Q2.

The company commented via press release:

“We are positioning Verizon for future growth and continued sustainable shareholder value,” said Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam. “In the fourth quarter we expanded our customer base in highly competitive wireless and broadband markets. This capped a year in which we delivered solid results and returned value to shareholders, including $9.3 billion in dividends. We enter 2017 with confidence, based on our investments in next-generation networks and the new capabilities we have acquired. Our goal is to continue to earn our customers’ loyalty every day in a rapidly expanding mobile-first digital world.”

Verizon Communications Inc. shares fell $0.62 (-1.18%) in premarket trading Tuesday. Year-to-date, VZ has declined -0.77%, versus a 1.17% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

VZ currently has a POWR Rating of A (Strong Buy), and is ranked #2 of 34 stocks in the Telecom – Domestic category.

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