Regional telephone company

U S West


reported a 13% quarterly earnings increase Friday, exceeding expectations on strong growth in its data and wireless businesses.

U S West, which

Qwest Communications


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is in the process of acquiring, said its first quarter, pro forma net earnings, excluding one-time items, increased to $445 million, or 87 cents a share, compared with $394 million, or 78 cents, in the year-ago period.

The Denver-based company said it reported earnings on a pro forma basis in order to reflect a change in its revenue recognition accounting method.

Revenue for the quarter grew 6.6% to $3.38 billion.

Wall Street had expected U S West, which dominates regional telephone service in a number of Western states, to post earnings of 81 cents a share, according to a poll conducted by

First Call/Thomson Financial


U S West said the number of subscribers for its data and wireless businesses rose 230,000, or 167%, passing the 1.2 million mark.

US West's shares were up 1 3/16, or 2%, to 72 in morning trading. (US West closed up 7/16, or 0.6%, at 71 1/4.)