Western Wireless


handily beat Wall Street's expectations in the latest fourth quarter, with higher revenue and subscriber growth helping to boost the bottom line.

Excluding noncash stock compensation expenses and a gain from the sale of a joint venture, Western reported income of 14 cents a share in the latest fourth quarter. Eleven analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

gave a consensus estimate of a penny for the wireless communications company, which is based in Bellevue, Wash.

Western's revenue rose to $237.1 million in the latest quarter, up from $174.1 million in the year-ago period. The company had 1.05 million subscribers at the end of the fourth quarter, a 26% gain from the end of same period a year ago.

In regular


trading, Western closed at $43.06, down 7 cents on the day. But in after-hours activity on


, the company gained $5.44 to trade at $48.50.