Verizon forecasts smaller-than-expected 2023 earnings per share

By Scott Kanowsky -- Shares in Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) fell in early U.S. trading after the telecoms company unveiled guidance for 2023 earnings per share that was weaker than expected amid fierce competition for subscriber growth and elevated investments in 5G technology.

In a statement, the group said it now expects EPS for the year to come in at between $4.55 and $4.85, below Bloomberg consensus estimates of $4.97.

The top U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers also estimates that capital spending will come in at $18.25 billion to $19.25 billion in 2023, down from $23.1B in the prior year.

Verizon has been spending heavily on developing its 5G networks as it looks to compete - and regain defecting subscribers - from its closest peers like T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) and AT&T (NYSE:T).

In the fourth quarter, promotional offers and the release of a new version of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) key iPhone device helped add 217,000 monthly postpaid wireless phone subscribers. That beat predictions of 209,635 new customers, according to Bloomberg estimates.

“The 2023 guidance is a bit soft [...] but subscriber performance in Q4 is extremely strong,” analysts at Vital Knowledge said in a note.

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