Verizon Fios Sub Growth Creeps Up in Q1

Verizon Fios sub growth slowed again on a year-over-year basis in Q1.

The telco, which recently closed the sale of wireline assets in California, Texas and Florida to Frontier Communications,  said it added 36,000 Fios video subs in Q1, down from 90,000 adds in the year-ago quarter, and added 98,000 Fios Internet customers, down from 133,000 adds.

Verizon ended the quarter with 5.86 million Fios video subs, and 7.13 million Fios Internet subs. That equated to a Fios video penetration of 35.2% (down slightly from 36% a year ago), and Fios Internet penetration of 41.9% (versus 41.5%) in the year-ago period.

With DSL factored in, Verizon also shed 10,000 total broadband connections in the quarter, versus a net gain of 41,000 a year ago. Verizon ended the quarter with 9.21 million total broadband connections.

Verizon said about 78% of Fios Internet subs took tiers of 50 Mbps or more, and that 38% of Fios video sales in Q1 were for its slimmed-down Custom TV offering, which was recently revised into two different types of packages, including one with ESPN.

Verizon also added 46,000 Fios residential digital voice connections in the period, down from 59,000 in the year-ago period. It ended the period with 4.8 million Fios voice connections.

Verizon, which has embarked on a plan to expanding Fios into the Boston area, pulled in $3.52 billion in Fios revenues in Q1, up from $3.35 billion in the year-ago period.

On the wireless end, Verizon added 640,000 retail postpaid subs, ending the period with 112.6 million retail connections, a 3.7% increase, and 107.2 million retail postpaid connections, a 4.4% rise. Wireless revenues were $22 billion in Q1, down 1.5% as more subs selected unsubsidized device payment plans.

On a consolidated basis, Verizon posted earnings of $1.06 per share in Q1 2016, up from $1.02 per share in Q1 2015. Total operating revenues in Q1 reached $32.2 billion, up 0.6% year-on-year.