Verizon: A Very Strong Buy Recommendation

| About: Verizon Communications (VZ)

Verizon (NYSE:VZ) had a stellar 3rd quarter financial performance report last October 17. This large-cap telecom company is having another profitable year - double-digit income and revenue increase for four consecutive quarters. The report shows Verizon beat Wall Street's estimates.

The biggest highlight for Verizon's 3rd quarter performance is the huge 30% increase in operating income - $7.1 billion this year versus $5.5 billion for the same quarter of 2012. Verizon enjoyed a higher 23.5% operating margin for this year's 3rd quarter, signifying better handling of its overhead expenses and better sales margins. Verizon's net income for this quarter is $2.2 billion, giving it earnings per share of 77 cents, higher than Wall Street analysts' prediction.

The company earned total gross revenue of $30.3 for 3rd quarter 2013, which is also 4.4% higher than last year's $29.01 billion. It beats industry expectations that pegged it at only $3.16 billion. Verizon also achieved a 16.9% year-over-year increase on its consolidated EBITDA for this quarter. Its EBITDA margin is also 37.3%, which is again higher than last year's quarter of 33.3%. Liquidity has also improved. For the first 9 months of 2013, Verizon had a cash flow of $28.4 billion, 14.7% from 2012.

More Customers, More Money

Verizon's amazing first 9 months of 2013 further cemented its blue-chip status. It's a solid income generating company suitable for a long-term hold. Its current stock price of $50.53 is 14.22% up from last year. It also gained a decent total 3-year increase of 56.03%.

If you are in search for a company to invest in, Verizon is a strong buy right now. It is still the biggest mobile phone operator in the United States. There's no sign of it slowing down soon. Verizon's growth is benefiting from the new shift toward cheap smartphones. The company added 927,000 new postpaid customers this quarter. This impressive client-recruiting performance has inspired Canaccord Genuity analyst Greg Miller to stick with his buy recommendation for Verizon he originally made after 2nd Quarter report in June. Miller still pegs Verizon at $55.

As of September 30, 2013, Verizon has a massive 101.2 million customers. It's a good 5.5% increase than last year's total number of subscribers. Out of that total, Verizon has a regular 95.2 million postpaid subscribers. That's a huge month-to-month cash machine that no other U.S. mobile provider can match.

Verizon's postpaid customers are also loyal: they average at 2.7 connections per account. That sticky-customer factor is further enhanced by Verizon's Share Everything Plan, which now accounts for 42% of all postpaid customers. Share Everything Plan allows customers to share data plans across all their devices. This convenient data sharing plan is attracting more people to switch to Verizon.

The Giant is Not Sleeping, it Keeps on Growing

Smartphone users now also account for 67% of Verizon's postpaid subscribers' base, it's higher than 2nd quarter 2013's 64%. This ever-increasing switch to smartphones is adeptly being addressed by Verizon. The hardware framework is in place to support the company's rapid increase of customers. Verizon has already completed deployment of its super-fast 4G LTE network, covering 99% of its existing 3G network infrastructure. The company's 4G network now covers 97% of the U.S. population or 303 million Americans. Its nationwide 4G network can support all future increase in subscribers.

The company has improved its line-up of 4G-capable handsets. Verizon customers may now enjoy the new superphones like DROID Ultra, DROID Maxx, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and HTC One. Verizon launched the new Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) Galaxy Note 3 earlier this month.

Flexing the Mighty Domination

The company is also diversifying to other sources of revenue. It recently retailed its own branded 4G LTE Broadband Router to further increase its dominant presence in U.S. households. Verizon is asking people to sign up for it for $99.99/month with a two-year contract period. The vast nation-wide of 4G network infrastructure of Verizon makes it a formidable wireless broadband service provider in any U.S. location.

Verizon is aggressively going after the lucrative pay TV market. Its FiOS TV/Internet bundle package is gaining popularity among U.S. homes. FiOS is Verizon's wired internet and pay TV service. It is powered by fiber-optics so it provides home/office users a mighty speed of 500/100 Mbps. The company also bundles HD TV streaming of 450-plus channels with it and an optional phone service too. FiOS sales now accounts for 7.7% of Verizon's total revenue. Expect it to rise gradually over the next few years.


Verizon is a great company with a large advantage over its rivals. It has a very strong balance sheet and an extremely dependable revenue model. Buy now before the share price goes up.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

About this article:

Author payment: Seeking Alpha pays for exclusive articles. Payment calculations are based on a combination of coverage area, popularity and quality.
Tagged: , , , Telecom Services - Domestic
Want to share your opinion on this article? Add a comment.
Disagree with this article? .
To report a factual error in this article, click here