Sprint

's operating companies both reported earnings that beat analysts' expectations by a penny for the third quarter.

Sprint

FON

group's third-quarter revenue rose 2.4% in the quarter to $4.40 billion from $4.30 billion. Normalized earnings of 47 cents a share fell from 48 cents a share in the third quarter a year ago, but Wall Street was expecting the company to earn 46 cents for the period, according to a

First Call/Thomson Financial

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survey of 15 analysts. Earnings from core operations from the Sprint FON group rose to 67 cents a diluted share in the quarter from 59 cents.

The

PCS

(PCS)

group reported third-quarter net operating revenue of $1.67 billion for the third quarter, up from $844 million in the same period a year ago. The loss for the quarter narrowed to 41 cents a share from 65 cents a share a year ago. Analysts were expecting the PCS group to lose 42 cents in the period.

Sprint reported consolidated net operating revenue for the third quarter of $5.97 billion, an 18% increase from $5.07 billion in the year-ago period.

Including 72,000 customers purchased from a reseller in the quarter, the PCS group added 911,000 customers. With the inclusion of about 122,000 additional resale customers and 126,000 affiliate customers, total users increased by just under 1.16 million in the quarter. Sprint PCS now has 8.61 million direct and resale customers and more than 550,000 affiliate customers.