Verizon posts subscriber gain shortfall, says Yahoo to fuel media push

Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:05pm EDT
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By Malathi Nayak and Aishwarya Venugopal

(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N: Quote) disappointed Wall Street on Tuesday by reporting a smaller-than-expected subscriber gain for its main wireless business, while its CEO gave few details about plans to increase revenue from its planned purchase of Yahoo Inc's YHOO.O internet assets.

Shares of the No. 1 U.S. wireless company, which had risen about 21 percent this year, fell 2 percent shortly after midday.

Verizon is focused on combining the media and advertising technology assets of Yahoo and AOL, which it acquired last year, Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said in an interview.

"This is about scale, this is about building viewers, which drives advertisers, and we believe there is a lot of revenue synergy here," Shammo said.

Verizon had said on Monday that it would buy Yahoo's core internet properties for $4.83 billion to expand its digital advertising and media business and compete with Facebook Inc (FB.O: Quote) and Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O: Quote) Google. The company is looking for new revenue by distributing content and selling ads as its wireless business matures.

On a call with investors, Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam said advertisers and content partners such as the National Football League were already expressing interest in distributing video to millions of AOL and Yahoo users who visit sites such as the Huffington Post and Yahoo Finance.

The company will disclose details on cost savings from the Yahoo acquisition before the deal closes in the first quarter of 2017, McAdam added.

"All we need to do is take more than our fair share of the growth of the market, and this will be a success for us," McAdam said. "And we certainly expect to do better than that."   Continued...

The logo of Verizon is seen at a retail store in San Diego, California April 21, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo