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Jul 22, 8:54 AM EDT

Verizon 2Q profit increases 93 percent thanks to Vodafone deal, tops forecast


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NEW YORK (AP) -- Verizon reported Tuesday that its second-quarter earnings nearly doubled after it secured full ownership of Verizon Wireless.

Profit jumped to $4.32 billion from $2.25 billion, or 78 cents per share. Net income per share grew, but at a lower rate, to $1.01 per share from 78 cents per share. That's because Verizon issued shares in February to pay Vodafone Group PLC shareholders for their share of Verizon Wireless.

Adjusted for non-recurring gains, chiefly from the sale of spectrum licenses to T-Mobile US, earnings were 91 cents per share. That just edged out the 90 cents per share that analysts were expecting, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose 5.7 percent to $31.48 billion from $29.79 billion last year. Analysts expected $31.09 billion, according to Zacks.

Before February, Verizon Communications Inc. owned only 55 percent of Verizon Wireless, which is vastly more profitable than the Verizon's wholly-owned landline and FiOS properties. Vodafone, a British cellphone company, owned the rest until it was bought out for $130 billion in cash and stock.

Verizon Wireless, the country's largest cellphone carrier, continued its strong run in the second quarter. It added a net 1.4 million devices to Verizon-branded services, for a total of 104.6 million. Revenues grew 7.5 percent year over year. Tablets were a chief driver: Verizon added three tablets for every new smartphone.

Verizon shares rose 23 cents to $50.93 before the opening bell.

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