RBC Capital Markets has adjusted its 2011 estimates of carrier Verizon (VZ) to account for the iPhone 4 launch in early February 2011.
iPhone, which has been available only at AT&T (T), will now come to Verizon's network beginning Feb.10. Verizon will carry iPhone 4 with a two-year contract starting at $199.99 for a 16 GB version.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Jonathan Atkin increased his 2011 net subscriber additions estimate for Verizon to 6.75 million from 5.06 million. Atkin also raised his postpaid net subscriber additions estimate to 4.17 million from 2.56 million, with peak net additions of 1.4 million in the second quarter of 2011.
We believe majority of switchers to VZ's iPhone will come from AT&T, with a lesser contribution from Sprint and T-Mobile, Atkin wrote in a note to clients.
Atkin has an outperform rating and price target of $35 on Verizon stock.
Meanwhile, the analyst cut his 2011 postpaid churn forecast to 0.9 percent from 1 percent, as he sees significant portions of iPhone sales to be upgrades from existing Verizon subscribers. The brokerage further raised his wireless revenue projection for 2011 to $59.7 billion from $59.16 billion.
However, the analyst lowered his fourth quarter 2010 post paid net additions estimate to 645,000 from 743,000 as he suspect a number of potential new subscribers in the quarter delayed their decisions due to iPhone anticipation.
Nevertheless, the analyst's earnings and revenue estimate for the fourth quarter of 2010 remains unchanged at 54 cents a share and $26.4 billion, respectively.
Verizon is expected to report its fourth quarter results on Jan.25. Wall Street expects the company to earn 55 cents a share on revenue of $26.47 billion, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Shares of New York-based Verizon were up 34 cents at $34.69 in Wednesday morning trade on the NYSE.