Verizon revenue grows on mobile, Fios gains

Fios leads the company to its largest growth in consumer wireline revenue in 10 years, Verizon said

Verizon Communications reported 3.9 percent growth in revenue for the third quarter and 21.2 percent growth in net income, driven by gains in mobile revenue and customer additions for its Fios broadband and television services.

Verizon on Thursday reported revenue of US$29 billion for the third quarter, compared to $27.9 billion in the third quarter of 2011. Net income was nearly $4.3 billion, up from $3.5 billion a year ago. Fios growth led to the highest growth in consumer wireline revenue in 10 years, officials said.

Net income attributable to Verizon was $1.6 billion, up 15.5 percent from a year ago. Vodafone owns a 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless.

Verizon has "significant momentum" going forward, CFO Fran Shammo said during a conference call. "Overall, [it was] a very good third quarter."

Earnings per share, excluding one-time items, was $0.64, meeting analyst expectations. Including one-time costs of $232 million for patent settlements, earnings per share was $0.56.

Verizon added 1.8 million retail mobile customers during the quarter, company officials said. The company now has 95.9 million retail customers, up 5.7 percent from a year ago. Verizon's new Share Everything mobile plan, including unlimited voice and text along with a pool of data to be shared among multiple devices, has been more popular than expected, officials said. The company introduced Share Everything in June.

Mobile service revenue was $16.2 billion, up from $15 billion a year ago. Net income for Verizon's wireless division was up 17.4 percent from the third quarter of 2011.

In Verizon's wireline division, the company added 136,000 Fios broadband and 119,000 Fios TV connections during the third quarter. Verizon now has 5.3 million Fios broadband and 4.6 million Fios TV customers.

About two-thirds of Fios customers have purchased a triple play of broadband, TV and phone service, Verizon said.

Verizon has 8.8 million broadband customers, including Fios and DSL, up 2.3 percent from a year ago.

Wireline revenue was $9.9 billion, declining 2.3 percent from the third quarter of 2011. But consumer wireline revenue grew 4.6 percent from a year ago, the largest year-over-year quarterly increase in a decade, Verizon said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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