(By Balachander S) Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) posted double-digit earnings growth, topping market expectations, spurred by strong growth at its Wireless segment, and its shares added 1.83 percent in premarket trading.
Earnings were $3.91 billion or 59 cents per share for the first quarter, up from $3.26 billion or 51 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.
Operating revenue rose 4.6 percent to $28.24 billion. Verizon Wireless revenue grew 8.2 percent
Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters expected EPS of 58 cents a share on revenue of $28.17 billion.
"Verizon Wireless posted another quarter of profitable revenue growth, while Verizon's Wireline segment posted another quarter of customer and revenue gains for FiOS fiber-optic services, and increased sales of strategic business services," the company said.
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Verizon added 734,000 retail customers, including 501,000 in retail postpaid. Total retail churn improved 9 basis points to 1.24 percent. Wireless operating income margin grew to 28.6 percent from 25.8 percent.
The stock, which has been trading between $32.28 and $40.48 over the past year, closed Wednesday's regular trading at $37.66.