Verizon posts gains on mobile, Fios growth

The company reports an increase of 720,000 mobile retail customers, and 188,000 new Fios broadband customers

Verizon Communications reported an increase in revenue and a double-digit spike in net income for the first quarter of 2013, compared to a year earlier, driven largely by gains in mobile customers and in revenue from its Fios service.

Verizon on Thursday reported revenue of US $29.4 billion for the first quarter of this year, up 4.2 percent from the first quarter of 2012, and net income was up 24.3 percent, to $4.9 billion. Net income attributable to Verizon was nearly $2 billion, up 15.8 percent. U.K. mobile provider Vodafone has a 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless.

Earnings per share were $0.68, beating analysts' estimates of $0.66.

Verizon Wireless added 720,000 retail customers during the first quarter, bringing its total number of retail connections to 98.9 million. Mobile revenue was $19.5 billion for the quarter, up 6.8 percent from a year ago.

On Verizon's wireline side, the company added 188,000 Fios broadband connections and 169,000 Fios TV customers during the quarter. The company now has 5.6 million Fios broadband and 4.9 million Fios TV customers, a year-over-year increase of at least 12 percent in both categories.

Verizon now has 8.9 million broadband customers, including Fios and DSL, with a net increase of 99,000 in the first quarter, with Fios gains offsetting DSL losses.

During the first quarter, Verizon migrated 83,000 homes in its coverage area to fiber from older copper connections, the company said. The fiber will allow the homes to receive Fios services and reduce maintenance costs for Verizon, the company said. Verizon's goal is to hook up 300,000 homes to fiber in Fios markets in 2013.

Wireline revenue was $9.8 billion, down 1.2 percent from a year ago. But Fios revenue grew 15.1 percent, to $2.6 billion in the first quarter, Verizon said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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