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It's not easy being the king of U.S. wireless -- even with record new subscriptions, Verizon still managed to rack up a loss for the end of 2012 thanks to Superstorm Sandy damage and rising pension costs.
Verizon reported fourth-quarter 2012 earnings on Tuesday, and it's a bit of a mixed bag for the nation's top wireless carrier this time around. While the company saw a record number of new subscriptions, "non-operational items" dragged on Verizon's profit for the last three months of the year.
First the good news: Verizon Wireless banked an 8.5 percent year-over-year increase in service revenues, adding 2.2 million new customers. Of those, 2.1 million were postpaid (i.e., contract) subscribers, a record high for the carrier.
4G LTE service also continues to be a strong offering for the company, which now serves more than 273 million people in a whopping 476 markets across the United States. 23.3 percent of Verizon's wireless customers are now using 4G LTE compatible devices.
The iPhone also continued to perform for Verizon, outselling Android devices by nearly two to one with 6.2 million of the company's 9.8 million new activations and 87 percent of the company's postpaid sales comprised of smartphones in general.
Sadly, Verizon execs don't quite get to enjoy this news with a high-five, given that the overall company lost money in Q4 thanks to expenses both expected and unexpected.
Superstorm Sandy repairs recovery efforts dragged on Verizon's bottom line to the tune of $135 million or seven cents per share, while another $1.55 per share (roughly $9-10 billion) related to severance, pension and benefit charges announced earlier this month.
All in all, despite consolidated Q4 revenues reaching an all-time high of $30 billion, Verizon still managed to record an adjusted loss of $4.23 billion for the three months. Better luck next time, guys…
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter