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Verizon Earns $3 Billion In Fourth Quarter, Driven By Wireless Again

NEW YORK (AP) Verizon Communications Inc. on Thursday reported a $3.04 billion profit in the fourth quarter, posting a 6 percent revenue gain as another powerful showing by the cellular business more than compensated for the continuing decline of the traditional local phone service.

The profit for the final three months of 2004, which included one-time gains from sales of non-strategic assets and tax benefits, amounted to $1.08 per share, matching most Wall Street forecasts. In the same period in 2003, Verizon lost $1.46 billion, or 53 cents per share, including one-time expenses from a voluntary severance plan and some environmental remediation costs.

Excluding one-time factors, Verizon earned 64 cents per share in the fourth quarter 2004, up from 58 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Fourth-quarter revenues totaled $18.26 billion, up from $17.20 billion a year earlier.

Verizon Wireless contributed more than 40 percent of the revenues, compared with 35 percent in the final months of 2003. The unit's revenue total of $7.34 billion was up 22.7 percent vs. in the year-ago period.

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