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Verizon profits surged to $7.9B last quarter on strong customer growth

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Verizon shareholders have a reason to smile this morning.

The company released its year-end financial report Tuesday morning, which showed it added 1.7 million customers last quarter, bringing its total subscriber count to 102.8 million. That growth cements Verizon’s place as the largest wireless carrier in the U.S. after a year of competitive pressure, caused in large part by appealing pricing and plans from the smaller T-Mobile. T-Mobile prompted other carriers, including Verizon, to switch up their own offerings.

But Verizon still has some major advantages over its competitors, including the largest 4G LTE network. The communications giant said its LTE network now covers 305 million people, or more than 99 percent of its 3G network. The company also noted that 69 percent of all data traffic currently flows through its LTE network.

The New York company reported a fourth quarter profit of $7.9 billion on revenue of $31.07 billion, posting quarterly revenue growth of 3.4 percent. Wall Street expected revenue of $31.02 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

That strong performance is a far cry from the previous year’s quarter, when damage from Hurricane Sandy and the rising cost of employee pensions led the company to a net loss of $1.9 billion.

Across Verizon’s entire business, from wireless and broadband to enterprise services, the company saw a 4.1 percent year-over-increase in its annual operating revenues, which totaled $120.6 billion.

That figure puts its massive deal with European carrier Vodaphone into context: Verizon has agreed to buy Vodaphone’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion.

And in what is surely a much a smaller deal (although the terms weren’t disclosed), Intel this morning confirmed that it had sold its planned web TV service, OnCue, to Verizon.

Verizon activated 8.8 million smartphones last quarter. Smartphones accounted for 88.9 percent of all device activations, a 3.5 percent increase over the third quarter.

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verizon is a global broadband and telecommunications company and a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It started in 1983 as Bell Atlantic (based in Philadelphia) with a footprint covering New Jersey to Virginia and emerged ... read more »

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