Verizon profit surges 31 percent

On a day in which its news may be overshadowed by the report of two smaller telcos merging, telco giant Verizon Communications reported third quarter earnings that included a 31 percent hike in net income to about $1.67 billion, up from $1.27 billion for the same quarter last year. Total revenue was up 4.1 percent to $24.8 billion, but the strength, as usual, came from the wireless side of the business, as wireline revenue slid 1.7 percent to $12.2 billion.

Verizon lost about 1.19 million landlines during the third quarter, and DSL subscribers declined by about 96,000. On the bright side, Verizon reported 233,000 net subscriber additions for its FiOS TV offering and 225,000 new FiOS Internet customers. Broadband and video service revenue growth drove consumer ARPU in legacy Verizon wireline markets upward by 12.8 percent to $66.67.

Additionally, the company reported that Verizon Business raked in $5.4 billion in revenue, which inched up about 1.2 percent from the same quarter last year. And, while telecom industry watchers await further information this morning on Centurytel's acquisition of Embarq, Verizon reiterated that its own rural-themed $28 billion acquisition of Alltel is on track to close by the end of this year, despite credit market turbulence.

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