Verizon Communications (VZ - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Tuesday as postpaid smartphone subscriber additions surged and the group boosted its full-year outlook.

Verizon said earnings for the three months ending in March came in at $1.22 per share, up 9.9% from the same period last year and 3 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Net revenues, Verizon said, were pegged at $32.12 billion, essentially matching analysts' forecasts but unchanged from last year.

Verizon said it added a net 61,000 retail postpaid subscribers over the quarterly period, including 174,000 net smartphone additions, a figure which handily topped Street forecasts of a modest decline. Net phone subscribers, however, fell by 44,000, just ahead of the 25,000 loss forecast.

Looking into 2019, Verizon said it sees full-year revenues rising by a "low single-digit percentage", with a similar increase for adjusted earnings.

"Verizon began 2019 by extending our leadership position in 4G, driving innovation in 5G and expanding our high-valued customer relationships," said Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg. "2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Verizon. We are leading the world in the development of new technologies with the launch of our 5G Ultra Wideband network. Our ambition remains unchanged to provide the most advanced next-generation networks in the world."

Verizon shares were marked 2.42% lower at the start of trading following the earnings release to change hands at $56.87 each. 

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