Updated from 7:57 a.m. EDTVerizon ( VZ) matched Wall Street's estimates with its third-quarter profit Monday, as gains in its wireless segment offset weakness in its wireline business. The New York phone giant recorded net income of $1.67 billion, or 59 cents a share, compared with net income of $1.27 billion, or 44 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, Verizon said it had a profit of 66 cents a share, which matches the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Sales rose 4.1% from a year ago to $24.8 billion; that figure exceeded Wall Street's expectations. Analysts had been looking for a $24.5 billion top line. Rival AT&T ( T), which reported earnings Wednesday, also exceeded third-quarter revenue forecasts. Verizon Wireless -- jointly owned by Verizon and Vodafone ( VOD) -- continued to show strength, adding 2.1 million net subscribers in the second quarter. The monthly customer defection rate remained at an industry low 1.33%, with post-paid churn slightly above 1%. The wireless unit generated revenue of $12.7 billion, up 12.5% year over year. On the wireline side, Verizon's core business continued to erode. Wireline revenue fell 1.7% from a year ago to $12.2 billion as customers disconnect second lines or shift to competing services. The company also said it added 233,000 net new FiOS TV customers taking the total to 1.4 million at the end of the quarter. Verizon said it added 225,000 fast Internet subscribers, offsetting a decrease of 96,000 DSL-based Verizon High Speed Internet connections.
"Although the capital markets and economy may present challenges, we will continue to execute on our business plan and invest for future growth," said CEO Ivan Seidenberg in a release. "We increased the dividend 7 percent this quarter, reflecting confidence in continued growth opportunities." Verizon shares were rising 4.6% to $26.20 in early trading Monday.