Verizon Earns $3.9B as Data Usage Jumps

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) reported net income of $3.9 billion for the first quarter as the carrier's wireless division continued to sign up new smartphone customers.

Verizon Wireless added 501,000 net contract subscribers during the quarter, giving it 93 million total retail customers, a 5.2 percent increase over last year. (See Verizon Earns $3.9B in Q1).

The wireless operator said that 47 percent of customers now own smartphones, 9.1 percent of which were Long Term Evolution (LTE)–capable. That helped to boost data revenues 21 percent, to $6.6 billion. ARPU also grew 3.6 percent, to $55.43, on the higher-margin phones, and Verizon said that the average contract customer is spending $23.80 per month on data, up 16 percent from last year.

Verizon earned 59 cents a share on revenues of $28.2 billion. A year earlier it reported a profit of $3.26 billion or 51 cents a share on revenues of $27 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a profit of 58 cents per share on revenues of $28.2 billion.

Shares of Verizon are up $0.34 (0.9 percent) to $38 in pre-market trading Thursday.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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