With revenue of $29.8 billion, Verizon’s first quarter earnings fall short of analyst expectations

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Verizon just released its first quarter earnings results, with adjusted earnings per share of 95 cents on revenue of $29.8 billion.

Revenue (minus divestitures and acquisitions) is down 4.5 percent from the first quarter of 2016. The numbers also fall short of what analysts had been predicting: EPS of 96 cents per share on revenue of $30.5 billion.

Verizon says there was a net decline of 307,000 wireless postpaid connections in the past quarter. However, it also says the launch of its Unlimited data plan “positively changed the trajectory of customer additions” — after the February launch, Verizon says it added 109,000 postpaid connections.

On the digital media side, Verizon says AOL (which owns TechCrunch) saw revenue (minus traffic acquisition costs) decrease 4 percent year-over-year, a decline it attributes to the growth of programmatic advertising. And Internet of Things revenue was up 17 percent.

“Our first-quarter results again demonstrated that customers value a high-quality network experience,” said Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam in the earnings release. “To build on our loyal customer base and the third-party recognition we have received for network leadership, we extended our wireless and fiber network capabilities, began offering an unlimited pricing option and expanded our opportunities in new markets. We’re executing on strategies to capture future growth and create long-term shareholder value.”

Earlier this week, McAdam told Bloomberg that Verizon would be open to merger talks with Comcast, Disney or CBS: “If [Comcast CEO Brian Roberts] came knocking on the door, I’d have a discussion with him about it.”

Of course, Verizon still needs to complete its acquisition of Yahoo, which it plans to combine with AOL into a digital media organization called Oath.

As of 8am Eastern, Verizon shares were down 2.3 percent in pre-market trading.

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