NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Verizon ( VZ) shares are strengthening in early trading after the New York-based telecom giant posted strong first-quarter earnings. Thanks in part to strong efforts from its wireless division, Verizon reported earnings of 59 cents a share on $28.24 billion in revenue. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 58 cents a share on $28.17 billion in revenue.
Verizon added 734,000 retail net customers during the quarter, including 501,000 retail postpaid customers. That brings Verizon's total to 93 million subscribers, including 88 million postpaid subscribers. The telecom company continued to expand its FiOS business, adding 193,000 net new FiOS Internet connections and 180,000 net new FiOS Video connections. It now has 5 million and 4.4 million customers, respectively. "Verizon delivered double-digit earnings growth and strong cash flow this quarter," said Verizon Chairman and CEO, Lowell McAdam, in a statement. "We built momentum coming out of 2011, and our results show that we continue to execute in the key growth areas of our business. Verizon Wireless produced both great growth and great margins, and we produced another strong quarter of FiOS growth. We are confident we will improve Wireline margins for the full year. Our repositioning of Verizon Enterprise Solutions has better aligned our strengths in high-growth markets, and we expect our enterprise business to contribute even more to overall Wireline revenue growth and profitability over time." Verizon generated $6 billion in cash flow from operating activities during the quarter, up $922 million year-over-year. Shares are higher in early Thursday trading, up 1.06% to $38.06. Interested in more on Verizon? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock. Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech on your wireless devices. -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/commodity_bull. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org