The U.S.' largest wireless carrier surprised Wall Street by adding 614,000 subscribers in the latest quarter. Fred Katayama reports.
Bringing back its unlimited data plan did wonders for Verizon. The U.S.' largest wireless carrier added 614,000 so-called "postpaid" subscribers in the latest quarter, far outstripping analysts' estimates. Postpaids are the most valuable customers to carriers because they pay a monthly bill. JPMorgan analyst Philip Cusick said, "After sounding terrible all quarter, Verizon crushed Street expectations." Verizon reintroduced its unlimited data plan in February for the first time in more than five years. It's fiercely competing with smaller rivals T-Mobile and Sprint in a saturated market. Just last month, Sprint punched back with free unlimited data, talk and text for one year for those who bring in their own devices. That promotion mainly targets Verizon subscribers. Financally, Verizon's profit surged, aided by the sale of data centers and lower costs. It was an easy comparison to the year earlier period which was hit by a strike in the wireline business. Verizon shares jumped at the start of trading, chipping away at their nearly 17 percent loss this year.