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Verizon could reverse customer losses in Q4

Black Friday and Cyber Monday appear to have been good for Verizon.

According to the financial analysts at Wells Fargo, Verizon's chief revenue officer said the operator is on track to report growth in its consumer postpaid net customer additions in the fourth quarter.

And that's noteworthy considering Verizon has been losing customers for much of 2022.

The comments come hours after the conclusion of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest shopping days of the year in the US.

"Given Verizon's focus on fourth quarter metrics, specifically consumer postpay net adds inflecting positive and continued broadband growth, we view it as an important point exiting 2022," wrote the Wells Fargo analysts in a note to investors Tuesday.

(Source: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy Stock Photo)
(Source: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy Stock Photo)

The analysts said that Frank Boulben, Verizon's chief revenue officer, recently presented at a Wells Fargo investor conference. "Boulben expressed optimism in the resilience of the US consumer despite the macro uncertainty," according to the analysts.

Boulben's Wells Fargo presentation is not publicly available on Verizon's investor relations site.

A noteworthy improvement

Verizon lost 189,000 wireless retail postpaid connections in its consumer business in the third quarter of 2022. It was the company's third consecutive quarter of declines in the number of consumer phone customers in its mobile business – a first in the company's history.

The company's performance during 2022 stands in stark contrast to the performance of its rivals. Both AT&T and T-Mobile have reported millions of new customers to their respective consumer businesses.

Verizon officials have suggested that the company is seeing improving trends among consumers, even amid the operator's recent inflation-inspired price increases.

"We're still optimistic about what we see from a demand side," Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said at a recent investor event. "We're obviously going to watch that closely as we go forward." But he said the company's consumer business is "in a good space."

Record shopping

According to numbers from Adobe, consumers spent a record $9.12 billion on online shopping during Black Friday this year. That's up 2.3% over last year's figures.

And for Cyber Monday, Adobe reported that online retailers pulled in $11.3 billion in sales. That's up 5.8% from the same day a year ago.

According to the analysts at Wells Fargo, T-Mobile and Verizon offered the most aggressive promotions during the holiday shopping season. T-Mobile offered four lines of wireless service for $25 each, while Verizon offered customers who switched to the provider up to $1,000 off the latest Apple and Samsung phones alongside any 5G plan, including its less expensive offerings.

However, Jeff Moore, principal at Wave7 Research, told FierceWireless that most holiday promotions from the big wireless carriers weren't much different from previous years.

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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