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Verizon Communications net earnings nudged higher in the third quarter, as a strong showing from Verizon Wireless helped lift revenues by 25.8 per cent.

The phone company said it made $1.92bn, or 66 cents per share, up from $1.87bn, or 68 cents a share in the same period last year. Earnings per share slipped because Verizon has more shares now than a year ago.

Excluding costs for special items, Verizon’s earnings per share were 68 cents, exceeding analysts’ forecasts of 66 cents according to Thomson Financial.

Revenue was $23.25bn, up from $18.49bn the year before.

Verizon has seen strong growth in building up its wireless business in recent years as customers shift away from using landlines.

Verizon Wireless, which Verizon owns in a joint venture with Vodafone, added 1.9m customers in the quarter, and saw revenues grow 18.2 per cent to $9.9bn. Verizon owns 55 per cent of the company to Vodafone’s 45 per cent.

The company’s wireline business saw a 7.5 per cent decline in wireline connections over the year. Excluding the results of MCI, which Verizon acquired recently, revenues decreased 4.7 per cent.

However, the company said it had added 448,000 net high-speed Internet connections in the third quarter, 147,000 of which were FiOS (fiber optic internet access services). The FiOS services, which can allow customers to watch TV over the internet, are considered important to the future prospects of the business. Last week larger rival AT&T said it was planning to roll out a high-definition version of its television-over-the-internet service.

Shares in Verizon rose to $39.00 in pre-market trading after closing on Friday at $38.84.

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