Verizon Rises on Fourth-Quarter Earnings Beat

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Verizon (VZ) shares gained in premarket trading on Tuesday after the telecom giant beat Wall Street's earnings and revenue expectations in its fiscal fourth quarter.

Excluding items, Verizon earned 66 cents a share, just above analysts' estimates of 65 cents. Verizon's earnings were up significantly from 38 cents a share in the same period last year, which was impacted by Superstorm Sandy.

The telco brought in revenue of $31.1 billion, an increase of 3.4% from the prior year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for revenue of $31.02 billion.

The beat helped push Verizon shares up 0.72% to $48.70 before market open.

In its wireless business, Verizon made 1.7 million retail net additions to its customer base during the quarter, including 1.6 million postpaid net additions. Verizon Wireless revenue was $21.1 billion, up 5.7% from the same period last year. The company's wireless service revenue grew 8% from the prior year's quarter.

Verizon's smartphone penetration is also increasing. At the end of 2013, smartphones made up 70% of the Verizon Wireless retail postpaid customer phone base, up from 67% at the end of 2012.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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