Verizon Beats Wall Street Projections on Strong iPhone Sales

Verizon earnings follow the established pattern set by AT&T and Apple this week. The lesson: When you sell the iPhone, you make boatloads of cash.

On Thursday, Verizon announced that it more than tripled – yes, tripled – net income in the first quarter.

The country’s largest mobile carrier – at least until the AT&T purchase of T-Mobile is sanctioned – said that Q1 profits were $1.44 billion (51 cents a share) compared to $443 million (16 cents a share) in the first quarter of last year.

Remarkably, Verizon activated some 2.2 million iPhones despite the fact that the iPhone was available for less than one-third of the quarter for which earnings were reported.

Where Verizon really shines in comparison to its AT&T counterpart is in the battle for new subscribers. Verizon Wireless nabbed 906,000 new subscribers in the 1st quarter, eviscerating AT&T’s 62,000.

Verizon now has 104.0 million total connections.

“In the first quarter, Verizon Wireless solidified its industry leadership with results that once again showed sustainable, profitable growth,” said Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg. “We are executing on our business plans and building momentum, and we are on track to meet both our revenue and earnings objectives for the year.”

Seidenberg added, “Wireline EBITDA margins expanded for the fourth consecutive quarter, driven by continued strength in FiOS revenues and disciplined cost management. Our strategic acquisition of Terremark, which closed earlier this month, improves our ability to provide integrated, enterprise-class cloud solutions and accelerate growth.”