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Verizon Hits 10-Year High on 4 Million iPhone Sales

In 2012, the weakness of Sprint and T-Mobile helped both Verizon and AT&T (T - Get Report) consistently pick up new subscriber and smartphone market share.

"Last year, postpaid subscriber losses at Sprint and T-Mobile equated to some 50% of postpaid net adds at Verizon and AT&T," Simon Flannery, a Morgan Stanley telecoms analyst, wrote in an April 17 note to clients.

"We believe that this trend may be peaking, and that consensus may be too optimistic on 2013 subscriber growth [which will] also allow DISH to pursue a more aggressive broadband/video strategy."

Verizon and AT&T also face tough year-over-year earnings comparables given the impact of handset subsidies and sharp 2012 share price gains.

"While we expect a solid report, we maintain our Hold rating in light of [Verizon's] recent outperformance and given our views of limited upside potential to EPS estimates, overheated expectations for a near-term VOD/VZW deal and the stock's steep premium to the S&P 500," Brett Feldman, a Deutsche Bank analyst wrote in an April 15 note to clients.

For more on Verizon shares, see why the carrier faces risks in a potential $100 billion-plus deal with Vodafone (VOD)

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York.

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