Verizon Communications Inc. said its third-quarter profit improved 40 percent as the largest U.S. phone carrier continued to build up its base of wireless and FiOS customers.
Verizon last month agreed to purchase Vodafone Group PLC’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion, granting Verizon full control of their joint venture. To help fund the deal, Verizon sold $49 billion in bonds, making it the largest corporate-debt sale in history.
Verizon reported a profit of $2.23 billion, or 78 cents a share, up from $1.59 billion, or 56 cents, a year earlier. Excluding special items, per-share earnings were 77 cents in the latest quarter. Revenue improved 4.4 percent to $30.28 billion.
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In the first half of 2013, Google spent $1.31 billion on 16 acquisitions, it said in a financial filing today.
The largest of those was the mapping startup Waze, which cost $966 million. (We had previously reported that the deal was worth $1.1 billion, as it included an estimated $100 million in performance payouts to staff, which wouldn’t be included in this filing.)
Google explained a little of its math for the Waze deal today: $847 million in goodwill, plus $188 million in intangible assets, minus $69 million of net liabilities assumed.
Other disclosed acquisitions in the first half of this year included Makani Power and Wavii. But there were a lot more deals, too: 15 non-Waze acquisitions of companies and intangible assets cost Google $344 million.
Also in the quarter, Google sold a company of its own: Motorola Home. Arris paid $2.238 billion in cash, plus $150 million in closing adjustment and $175 million in stock, resulting in a net gain of $747 million that was included in second-quarter earnings.
And, lastly, Google cut a bunch of Motorola-related jobs through the Home sale as well as layoffs. In the second quarter, Motorola dropped to 4,599 employees from 15,152. Restructuring has brought cumulative charges of $839 million, Google said.
Why did Google kill its Chromecast/Netflix promotion a day after it launched?
It didn’t, exactly. And neither did Netflix.
Here’s a new statement from Google on the end of the deal, which gave Chromecast buyers three months of free Netflix: “Due to overwhelming demand for Chromecast devices since launch, the 3-month Netflix promotion (which was available in limited quantities) is no longer available.”
And here’s a tiny bit of clarity about what that means, as far as I can tell after speaking to people at both companies: Google bought a fixed amount of Netflix subscriptions to bundle with its $35 Web TV gadget, and it sold out.
Feel free to wonder whether Google dramatically underestimated demand for Chromecast, or if it is very happy to have sold out in a day (right now, Gabe Rivera and his robots think this is the most compelling story in tech).
Also feel free to wonder whether the end of the promotion will do anything to dampen enthusiasm for the Chromecast.
My hunch: At an effective price of $11, it was basically free, and thus a very attractive impulse buy. And, at its list price of $35, it is still very, very cheap for a piece of consumer electronics. And it’s probably going to continue to sell well.
(Image courtesy of Shutterstock/Humannet)