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Verizon Racks Up Revenues, But Profits Drop

Despite intense competition from AT&T and its Apple iPhone, buying Alltell has helped Verizon Wireless keep subscriber numbers robust.

Verizon Communications has reported third quarter profits (down) and revenues (up) that continued the company's financial trajectory of recent quarters. Profits fell 9% to $2.89 billion and revenue rose 10.2% to $27.27 billion.

As has been the case in recent quarters, the Verizon Wireless unit led the way, adding 1.2 million net new customers, but fell short of the 2 million new customers added by AT&T, its arch rival in wireless.

Verizon indicated it is readying two Google Android phones for introduction before the end of the year as it prepares to increase its competition with AT&T, which has been adding subscribers via its exclusive deal with Apple to market its iPhone.

Losses in landline subscribers -- now a perennial problem -- continued to hamper Verizon as it recorded a 4.8% decline in landline revenues.

"Verizon continues to generate strong cash flow, which we have used in building the foundation for sustainable, long-term shareowner value," said Verizon chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg in a statement Monday. "As the U.S. economic and employment picture improves, and as we accelerate reductions in our own cost structure, we are well-positioned to quickly and significantly improve our growth profile."

The company also added 198,000 net new customers for its FiOS broadband Internet, another growth area for the firm.

Despite intense competition from AT&T and its iPhone, Verizon Wireless logged impressive numbers holding down its leading wireless subscriber position with 89 million customers. The total represented a 25.7% quarterly increase year over year. The numbers grew largely because of Verizon Wireless' acquisition of Alltel. Verizon Wireless is 55% owned by Verizon Communications and 45% by Vodafone Group.

Although Verizon Wireless is trailing AT&T in signing up new subscribers, the Verizon unit's network generally has wider coverage. The company is also preparing to launch its robust LTE network with two trial 700 MHz deployments -- in Boston and Seattle -- by the end of the year. A full commercial deployment is scheduled for as many as 30 deployments in 2010.


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