Alltel Earnings Miss Estimate; Company Buys Lines From Verizon

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said third-quarter earnings from continuing operations were $230.7 million, or 74 cents a share, a 10% increase over last year's $213.3 million, or 67 cents a share.

The company also said it agreed to buy 600,000 telephone lines from


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for $1.9 billion cash and said that in August, it tried to buy


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for $5.9 billion but was rebuffed.

The earnings number was a penny short of Wall Street's consensus estimate of 75 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Revenue for the quarter rose to $1.90 billion from $1.87 billion a year ago. The rural telephone service provider's wireless revenue also increased to $973.5 million from $934.6 million last year.