Verizon Reports 31 Percent Increase in Net Income

Verizon's net income was up more than 31 percent and its revenue up more than 4 percent for the third quarter of 2008, driven largely by increases in wireless and data customers.

Verizon on Monday reported revenue of US$24.8 billion for the third quarter of 2008, up from $23.8 billion for the third quarter of 2007. Net income was up from $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion.

Revenue for Verizon Wireless were up nearly 13 percent, from $11.3 billion to $12.7 billion. Net income for the wireless division was up nearly 14 percent, from $3.1 billion to $3.5 billion.

"Although the capital markets and economy may present challenges, we will continue to execute on our business plan and invest for future growth," Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg, said in a statement. "Verizon has a great set of assets and an employee team focused on creating value for our customers and shareholders."

Verizon Wireless' customer base grew by more than 11 percent; it now has 68.8 million retail customers and 70.8 million total customers. The growth of 2.1 million customers include an August acquisition of Rural Cellular, which brought 630,000 customers to Verizon. Wireless data revenue grew more than 42 percent over the third quarter of 2007, to $2.8 billion.

Verizon reported earnings per share of $0.66 for the quarter. That met analyst expectations, according to Yahoo Finance.

While wireless revenue was up significantly, Verizon reported a decrease of nearly 2 percent in wireline revenue. Wireline revenue, which includes traditional phone service, wired broadband and Verizon Business, was $12.2 billion.

However, Verizon reported an net increase of 129,000 wireline broadband customers, after reporting just 54,000 new broadband customers in the second quarter. During the first quarter of the year and the three previous quarters, Verizon reported more than 200,000 new broadband subscribers, and more than 400,000 new subscribers in each of the six quarters before that.

During the third quarter, Verizon reported a net loss of 96,000 DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) customers, but that was offset by subscriber growth in Verizon's Fios fiber-based broadband service.

Wireline data revenue, which now accounts for about 43 percent of Verizon's wireline revenue, was $5.2 billion, up nearly 15 percent from the third quarter of 2007.

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