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Verizon Quarter in Line

Another strong quarter in wireless leads the way.
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Verizon (VZ) - Get Free Report posted first-quarter results that matched Wall Street's targets, as the company's wireless business continued to add users at a rapid clip.

The New York telco made $1.5 billion, or 51 cents a share, down from the year-ago $1.63 billion, or 56 cents a share. Revenue rose 6% from a year ago to $22.6 billion. Excluding certain costs, latest-quarter earnings were 54 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 54-cent profit on sales of $22.46 billion.

"Verizon is off to a strong start in 2007," said CEO Ivan Seidenberg. "Our results show that across the board we have accelerated organic growth in key markets: retail wireless, broadband, data, video and global IP

Internet protocol."

Verizon said its Verizon Wireless venture with


(VZ) - Get Free Report

added 1.6 million retail customers in the quarter, up 1.2% from a year ago. Verizon said nearly all those user adds were postpaid, the most lucrative part of the wireless business, though it didn't offer a figure.

Wireless service revenue rose 18% from a year ago to $9 billion. Retail service average revenue per user rose 2.8% from a year ago to $50.73. Churn, measuring monthly customer defections, was 1.08% all told and 0.89% among retail postpaid customers.

Wireline data revenue rose 12% from a year ago to $4.2 billion. Verizon added 416,000 net new broadband connections. Verizon served 348,000 FiOS TV customers as of the end of the quarter, and averaged 2,200 FiOS TV net customer additions per business day -- about 750 more net additions per business day than the fourth-quarter 2006 average.

On a pro-forma basis, wireline operating revenues decreased 1.7%, driven in part by a continuation of the expected declines in former MCI operations serving mass market (residential and small business) customers.

The company posted a 408,000-unit decline in primary residential access lines. As of the end of the quarter, Verizon served 44.2 million traditional access lines, a 7.9% decrease from a year ago.

Consumer revenue generating units totaled 32.3 million, essentially flat year-over-year but up 65,000 since year-end 2006.