Verizon misses postpaid phone subscriber estimates

(Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc said on Tuesday it added fewer monthly bill-paying phone subscribers than expected during the fourth quarter, as it faced increased competition from rivals T-Mobile US Inc and AT&T Inc.

The company added 279,000 postpaid phone subscribers in the quarter, below FactSet estimates of 443,100.

The economic uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has caused people to rethink spending.

The onset of the 5G era with the latest iPhones has left customers exploring various available options among the big three carriers that continue to invest in the rapidly evolving technology, intensifying competition for Verizon.

Total operating revenue for Verizon fell 0.2% to $34.7 billion, compared with estimates of $34.43 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income fell to $4.72 billion, or $1.11 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $5.22 billion, or $1.23 per share, a year earlier.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)