You're Fired

5:50 PM -- We all know that wireline services have been on the decline at telcos around the world in terms of legacy fixed line subscriber losses. That's perhaps why Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) surprised a couple of analysts this morning when it reported that its wireline profit margins had improved for the fourth quarter of 2007.

One of the big contributors to that evidently was the trimming of about four thousand employees from the wireline payrolls with five thousand more cuts expected this year. "We have been rapidly shifting our force to the growing pieces of our business, that is FiOS and our wireless business, so both of those will continue to grow in force," said COO Denny Strigl this morning.

There has been a lot of concern surrounding the health of the wireline telecom sector because of the struggling U.S. housing market. But even with these layoffs, Verizon maintains that it isn't concerned. "I would say that we have not seen a change in sales expectations through January," said CFO Doreen Toben. "We expect 2008 to be a solid year." — Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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