Verizon's profit sinks as it loses wireless subscribers

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Verizon Communications Inc VZ.N , the No. 1 USA wireless carrier, reported a 20 percent fall in quarterly profit as it lost wireless postpaid subscribers despite the re-launch of unlimited data plans.

Verizon shares are down about 2% in premarket trading after the telco's Q1 earnings report showed surprisingly few wireless consumers were turned on by the recent revival, after five years, of its unlimited data offering.

Verizon's stock price has already been battered since it admitted in January that it would not be able to increase its revenue in 2017 over a year ago. A year ago during the same period, it added 640,000 subscribers. Verizon said it would have lost even more subscribers during the first three months of the year if it didn't launch its unlimited wireless service in February.

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Verizon is struggling to fend off smaller rivals T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp in a maturing market for USA wireless service.

Verizon shed new light on its surprise decision to offer an unlimited data plan in February after years of resisting: it was losing customers in droves.

Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement, "Our first-quarter results again demonstrated that customers value a high-quality network experience".

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At the end of first-quarter 2017, Verizon had 5.7 million Fios internet connections and 4.7 million Fios video connections, year-over-year increases of 3.3% and 0.1%, respectively.

Revenue: $30.487 billion, according to Reuters. That's down from $4.43 billion, or $ 1.06 per share, in the same period a year ago.

Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research.

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