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Verizon's third-quarter profit virtually doubles

October 21, 2011 |  9:52 am

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Communications reported on Friday that its third-quarter earnings rose to $1.38 billion, or 49 cents per share, from $659 million, or 23 cents per share, a year earlier.

Contributing to Verizon's increased performance was a jump in subscribers and smartphone sales over on its Verizon Wireless network with 882,000 new wireless-contract customers gained in the quarter, the carrier said in a statement.

Across Verizon's business, which includes wireless and land-line phone services and the FiOS home TV and Internet services, the New York-based firm gained 1.3-million customers in the third quarter. That pushed Verizon's overall subscriber base to 107.7 million, up 6.5% from a year earlier.

Verizon also noted that about 39% of the devices running on its wireless networks are smartphones, up from 36% last quarter.

The significant boost in profit comes despite a two-week labor strike and spending $250 million on "storm-related repair costs" over the three-month period ended Sept. 31, Verizon said.

The carrier known as "Big Red" also said that its 4G LTE wireless network expansion continues and is actually growing more quickly than anticipated.

As of Thursday "Verizon Wireless 4G LTE service was available in 165 markets covering a population of more than 186 million, across the country," the carrier said in a statement. "With additional markets planned before year-end, the company's 4G LTE network build-out is ahead of schedule and has already exceeded the company's 2011 target of covering a population of 185 million."

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: A sign at a Verizon store in New York. Credit: Seth Wenig / Associated Press

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