Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) reported strong first-quarter earnings before opening bell this morning, posting profits of $1.95 billion or 68 cents per share. Revenue jumped to $29.42 billion, an increase of 4.2 percent from the same quarter a year ago. A consensus of analysts polled by Bloomberg was 66 cents per share on $29.5 billion in revenue.
The company’s Wireless division posted $19.5 billion in revenue, a 6.8 percent increase over the same quarter a year ago. Verizon added 720,000 new net subscribers during the quarter, including 677,000 subscribers who signed a contract for two years.
One of the main reasons Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)’s Wireless division is doing so well against its competitors is likely because of how quickly it rolled out 4G LTE services. The company said it has 4G speeds in a larger number of markets than the three major national carriers combined.
“Our strategic investments in wireless, wire-line and global networks have given us the platforms to sustain momentum and take advantage of growth opportunities in key markets for broadband, video and cloud services,” said Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam in a statement. “With ongoing improvements in operating efficiency, we expect continued growth in free cash flow and earnings as we move through the year.”
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) reported 989.9 million retail connections, which was a 6.4 percent increase year over year. It also reported increases in smartphone use. The company said smartphones made up over 61 percent of its retail postpaid customer phone base, which is an increase from 58 percent in the previous quarter.
The company added several new smartphones to its network as well during the quarter, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the BlackBerry Z10.
As of the moment of this writing, shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) were up 1.53 percent in pre-market trading.