Wireless device additions lift Verizon 2Q profit

NEW YORK (AP) Verizon added more wireless devices than expected to its network in the latest quarter, continuing a strong run for the largest U.S. cellphone carrier.

Verizon Wireless added 941,000 devices to its contract-based plans in the April to June period and boosted service revenues by 8.3 percent from a year ago. Its closest rival, AT&T, is seeing revenue increases of around 4 percent.

Almost all of the gains on the wireless side were due to customers upgrading to higher-priced plans or adding more devices to their plans, as opposed to an influx of new customers. Now that nearly every adult American has a cellphone, easy growth in the wireless industry has ended. Carriers are looking to tablets and other devices to keep revenue rising.

Net income at Verizon Communications Inc. was $2.25 billion, or 78 cents per share, up 23 percent from a year ago, the company said Thursday. Excluding a pension-related gain, earnings were 73 cents per share. That beat the average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet by a penny.

Revenue was $29.79 billion, up more than 4 percent from a year ago and in line with analyst expectations.

Verizon shares fell 49 cents, or 1 percent, to $50.25 in premarket trading. The shares hit a 12-year high of $54.31 on the last day of April.

New York-based phone company Verizon Communications owns 55 percent of Verizon Wireless, which means that only that percentage of its profits flow to its bottom line. The rest goes to joint venture partner Vodafone Group PLC, a British cellphone company with wide-ranging international interests.

Verizon Communications has a long-standing interest in buying Vodafone out of Verizon Wireless, and analysts expect a deal could be reached later this year.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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