Verizon Announces Strong Operating Results For Fourth Quarter and 2000
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NEW YORK - Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) met or exceeded key operating targets for fourth quarter and full-year 2000, Verizon President and Co-CEO Ivan Seidenberg said today at Salomon Smith Barney's Eleventh Annual Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Verizon will announce its fourth quarter and full-year financial results for 2000 on Feb. 1.
In Verizon's major growth businesses:
- Verizon ended the year with an estimated 540,000 DSL (digital subscriber line) subscribers, substantially exceeding its year-end target of 500,000.
- Verizon ended the year with an estimated 1.4 million long-distance customers in New York, winning a 20 percent share of the state's residential long-distance market in only one year. Verizon can offer long-distance service over approximately half of its U.S. access lines, and the company ended the year with nearly 5 million long-distance customers nationwide.
- As announced last week, Verizon Wireless had a net gain of approximately 1.2 million new customers in the quarter and ended the year with approximately 27.5 million wireless customers, by far the most in the industry.
- Data revenues for 2000 were an estimated $6.2 billion, resulting in data revenue growth of 30 percent or more for the 12th consecutive quarter and fourth consecutive year.
"We have an expanding position in the growth markets of the future -- wireless, data, broadband, long distance - and we're executing extremely well in these areas," Seidenberg said. Seidenberg also made the following points in his remarks:
- Verizon achieved an estimated $535 million in annualized merger-related expense savings in 2000 following the formation of Verizon Wireless and the Bell Atlantic-GTE merger. One of Verizon's top priorities for 2001 is to continue toward its goal of $2 billion in annual expense synergies by 2003.
- The impact on earnings of the current wireless auctions has been factored into Verizon's previous earnings guidance.
- Verizon continues to expect that it will file for approval to offer long distance in all of the former Bell Atlantic states by mid-2002. Verizon plans to resubmit its application to enter the Massachusetts market shortly.
- Verizon plans to make a filing today with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission that will begin the PUC's 100-day review of the company's proposed application to the FCC for approval to provide long distance service in the state. The PUC will use the 100-day period to review the evidence that Verizon has opened its network to competitors and determine whether to support the company's application to the Federal Communications Commission, which Verizon plans to file after this 100-day period.
Seidenberg also affirmed Verizon's confidence in its earnings targets, noting that the company is using conservative assumptions about the 2001 economy in its planning. "Our growth engines - data, DSL, long distance, wireless - are strong enough to accelerate our overall growth rate, even in the face of an economic downturn," he said.