Many customers cannot fathom why Verizon Wireless does not jump on the T-Mobile "bandwagon" and start to lower their fees or pay customers to leave AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile and come join the Verizon family. Customers are excited by the prospect and Financial Analysts are terrified by it, however, I guess we have our answer – customers are flocking to Verizon on their own to the tune of 1.7 million new customers, of which 1.6 million are the highly coveted postpaid variety. So even with the highest average monthly fees in the industry, users cannot get enough of Big Red.
With their fourth consecutive quarter with double-digit earnings growth, Verizon Wireless must be doing something right. In their wireless division, besides adding he 1.7 million new customers, they ended up the 2013 year with 102.8 million customers, and of those, 96.8 million were the retail postpaid variety. They also reported that nearly 305 million people in more than 500 markets across the US have access to their 4G LTE service. This all adds up to an 8-percent year year-over-year increase in service revenues 4Q 2013 – 7.5-percent year-over-year increase in revenues, with a 29.5-percent operating income margin.
Wireless total revenues of $21.1 billion in 4Q 2013, were up 5.7-percent year-over-year, service revenues in the quarter totaling $17.7 billion were 8-percent higher over the same period last year – marking the fifth consecutive quarter of at least an 8-percent growth rate. For the full-year, total revenues were $81 billion, up 6.8-percent over 2012 and service revenues were $69 billion for 2013, up 8.3-percent from 2012.
Some more highlights: At the end of 2013, the 102.8 million customers showed an increase of 4.7-percent over 2012. At the end of 2013, smartphones accounted for 70-percent of their phone base, up from 67-percent at the end of the 3Q 2013, raising 3-percent in just one-quarter. Verizon's 4G LTE footprint now covers 99-percent of their 3G network footprint, meaning that it is available to 97-percent of the U.S population.
All of these numbers mean that despite T-Mobile's efforts, Verizon is still attracting new customers with their current programs and pricing. Big Red is thinking, why change the good thing we have going here, so while its customers may wish for better pricing, the analysts can keep that smile on their faces.
Please let us know on our Google+ Page what you think about Verizon's tremendous year – are you a fan or foe of Big Red, and why…we would love to hear your opinion.