Verizon to slash 13,000 jobs

Thursday, 28 January 2010, 05:33 Hrs
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New York: Coping with subscriber losses at its fixed-line phone business, Verizon Communications plans to cut about 13,000 jobs at the division this year after posting fourth-quarter revenue.

The cuts will follow reductions of a similar size last year, Chief Financial Officer John Killian told Bloomberg. This year's eliminations equal to 11 percent of the staff at the unit, which had about 117,000 workers at year-end.

Sales rose 9.9 percent to $27.1 billion, missing the $27.3 billion average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Fixed-line revenue fell 3.9 percent, muting mobile-customer gains that beat some analysts' projections. High unemployment hurt sales to companies and damped growth at Verizon's FiOS Internet and TV service, said Stifel Nicolaus and Company, Analyst Christopher King.

"The economy, first and foremost, we really see no signs of improvement there," said Baltimore-based King, who advises investors to buy the shares and doesn't own any. "I would have expected to see a little bit more signs of stabilization in the fourth quarter."

The New York-based company's stock declined 2.3 percent last year. The company had a pretax expense of $3 billion last quarter related to job cuts, pushing it to a net loss of $653 million, or 23 cents a share. A year earlier, it had a profit of $1.24 billion, or 43 cents. Excluding some costs, profit fell to 54 cents a share, matching analysts' projections.

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