Verizon Q4 Media Businesses Post Weak Results

Verizon Communications’ media and video businesses posted declining revenue and subscriber numbers for fourth-quarter 2017.

For its division formerly named Oath — now called Verizon Media Group, which now includes AOL and Yahoo — fourth-quarter revenue dropped 5.8% to $2.1 billion.

Verizon says revenue was up from the third quarter "due to seasonal advertising spending."

The company also confirmed a $4.6 billion write-down against the division, reflecting a lower valuation against the group.

Verizon acquired AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion. Verizon bought Yahoo in 2016 for $4.8 billion.

At the same time, Verizon’s traditional fiber-line-based video business — its FiOS unit — said it lost 46,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter, nearly double the level of its 29,000 subscribers in fourth-quarter 2016. Verizon now has 4.5 million FiOS customers. 



For the fourth quarter of 2018, total wire-line revenue — broadband and telco — was down 3.5% to $7.4 billion, excluding new revenue recognition standards. For the entire year of 2018, revenue was down 1.5% to $12.6 billion.

In response to the growth of virtual OTT pay TV-video providers, Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon, said the company would look to “create optionality for our customers.”

Verizon’s broadband service business continues to show growth, adding 54,000 subscribers — up from the previous fourth-quarter period, when it added 47,000. Verizon now has 6.1 million broadband customers.

Total company-wide revenues were up 1% in the fourth quarter to $34.3 billion. The company guidance indicates that profits will be essentially flat for 2019.

In mid-day Tuesday trading, Verizon’s stock was down 2% to $53.90.

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