Verizon Communications Inc VZ
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 01/22/2013

Operator: Good morning, and welcome to the Verizon Fourth Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants have been placed in a listen-only mode, and the floor will be opened for questions following the presentation. Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.

It is now my pleasure to turn the call over to your host, Mr. John Doherty.

John N. Doherty - SVP, IR: Thanks, Brad. Good morning, and welcome to our fourth quarter 2012 earnings conference call. Thanks for joining us this morning. I am John Doherty. With me this morning is our Chief Financial Officer, Fran Shammo, as well as Mike Stefanski, who recently assumed my role as Head of Investor Relations.

Before we get started, let me remind you that our earnings release, financial and operating information, the investor quarterly, and the presentation slides are available on our Investor Relations website. Replays and a transcript of this call will be available on our website later today.

I would also like to draw your attention to our Safe Harbor statement. Information in this presentation contains statements about expected future events and financial results that are forward-looking and subject to risks and uncertainties. Discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in Verizon's filings with the SEC, which are also available on our website.

This presentation contains certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are also available on our website. I'd also point out that the quarterly growth rates disclosed in our presentation slides and during our formal remarks are on a year-over-year basis unless otherwise noted as sequential.

Before Fran takes you through the details of our results, I'd like to cover the differences between reported and adjusted earnings this quarter. These are displayed on Slide 3. For the quarter, we reported a loss of $1.48 per share on a GAAP basis. This quarter, there are several significant non-operational charges that I would like to highlight. The largest item is a pre-tax charge of $7.2 billion, related primarily to the non-cash year-end mark-to-market adjustment of pension and OPEB liabilities.

This charge is due primarily to changes in the discount rate and other actuarial assumptions, as well as the annuitization of various pension liabilities during the quarter. On an after-tax basis, this charge amounted to $4.4 billion or $1.55 per share. We also incurred pre-tax charges of $1.4 billion related to early retirement of debt in other restructuring activities. Most of the charges are debt redemption costs resulting from a tender offer for a high coupon note during the quarter.

On an after-tax basis, this charge was $871 million, or $0.31 per share. By excluding $1.86 per share for these non-operational charges, adjusted EPS for the fourth quarter was $0.38. This adjusted result includes $319 million of direct impact from Superstorm Sandy, which equates to $0.07 per share. Excluding the Sandy impacts, adjusted EPS would've been $0.45 for the fourth quarter, and full year results on the same basis would have been $2.31 per share.

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