5G powers Verizon user growth, profit outlook

The allure of 5G next generation wireless technology helped Verizon sign up more mobile phone subscribers than expected last quarter.

The No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier signed up 429,000 new users in the third quarter, according to company results released Wednesday.

Verizon has been investing heavily in 5G to keep up with a surge in demand for mobile and data plans that spiked during the health crisis.

5G is touted for its faster internet speeds and better coverage.

The drive to sign up more 5G customers is paying off. Profits came in better than expected and Verizon boosted its full-year earnings outlook.

But operating sales for the quarter, which came in at $32.9 billion, was just below the consensus forecast, likely due to Verizon's aggressive phone subsidies.

Verizon is offering up to $1,000 to trade in an older iPhone for one of the new 5G iPhones - matching an offer from larger rival AT&T.

Phone subsidies can dent sales at first, but reap benefits later since Verizon, like most mobile service providers, charges higher monthly fees for 5G service.

Shares of Verizon traded higher after the quarterly results, but were down more than 10 percent so far this year.