Investors Buy Large Volume of Call Options on Verizon Communications (VZ)

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Verizon said it added 603,000 retail postpaid net wireless accounts in the latest period, which included 486,000 postpaid smartphone net adds. However, it was still able to match Wall Street's earnings per share estimate for the third quarter of the year.

Seventy-eight percent of Verizon's postpaid phone base has now transitioned to unsubsidized plans, the company said Thursday. Almost 80 percent of its postpaid customers are on monthly pricing plans rather than contracts.

The company had 109.7 million retail postpaid connections and 5.6 million retail prepaid connections.

Media, telematics and the IoT: The carrier continued to tout the success of its burgeoning IoT business, which posted a 13% year-over-year increase in organic revenue thanks largely to the telematics division. Oath expects to realize more than $1 billion in operating expense synergies through 2020, the company has said.

Verizon officials expect full-year revenues to be consistent with 2016 totals, "with improvement in wireless service revenue and equipment revenue trends". Possibly many consumers are holding out for the $999 iPhone X model, and the carriers this year also offered promotions that were less lucrative than last year for consumers buying the iPhone 8.

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The telecom giant add 66,000 Fios broadband customers, while losing 18,000 Fios video customers during the July-September third quarter, the company said Thursday. But in order to keep video-hungry customers, the company introduced an unlimited plan in February, which dramatically improved subscriber gains. The mobile carrier and internet service provider reported adjusted earnings of 98 cents per share on $31.72 billion in revenue, compared to the consensus estimates of 98 cents per share and $31.45 billion in revenue. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. acquired a new position in Verizon Communications in the first quarter valued at approximately $184,000. "On a comparable basis excluding divestitures and acquisitions ... consolidated revenues declined 2.3%", admitted Verizon.

It's shaping up to be grim quarter for the pay-TV biz, as the drip-drip-drip of cord-cutting continues to put pressure on the fat traditional channel bundle.

UPDATED at 9:30AM ET Matt Ellis, Verizon's EVP and CFO, said the timing of the company's planned launch of a new over-the-top video service is still being determined, but the company does still envision becoming a bigger video player. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.98 per share for the third-quarter.

Verizon also announced that it would shut the groundbreaking and once-popular AOL instant messenger service later this year.

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