Verizon Narrowly Beats Street in 4Q as Wireless Subscribers Grow

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) beat the Street on Tuesday by swinging to a stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit amid solid wireless subscriber growth.

Shares of the telecom giant ticked higher in premarket action on the results.

Verizon said it earned $5.07 billion, or $1.76 a share, last quarter, compared with a loss of $4.23 billion, or $1.48 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 66 cents a share, up from 38 cents the year before and a penny better than analysts had modeled for.

Revenue increased 3.4% to $31.07 billion, essentially matching the Street’s view of $31.02 billion.

"Verizon delivered a total return of 18.6 percent to our shareholders in 2013, while attracting more customers than our competitors and improving our financial performance,” Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement.

Verizon’s net results were impacted by a number of one-time items, including a gain of $1.29 a share tied to pension and benefit plan fluctuations.

The company also took after-tax charges of $540 million, or 19 cents a share, for transaction costs related to the $130 billion acquisition of Vodafone’s (NYSE:VOD) 45% stake in Verizon Wireless. This transaction was unveiled in September and is expected to close on February 21, assuming shareholders from Verizon and Vodafone sign off.

Verizon Wireless revenue rose 5.7% to $21.1 billion last quarter as the company added 1.7 million retail net connections, including 1.6 million retail postpaid net connections. Analysts had projected postpaid additions of about 1.51 million.

On the other hand, Verizon said it added about 126,000 FiOS Internet customers, missing expectations for 163,000 additions.

Shares of New York-based Verizon gained 0.62% to $48.65 in premarket trading on Tuesday morning. The company’s shares have rallied about 27% over the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, Verizon also announced an agreement on Tuesday to acquire Internet television assets from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) for an undisclosed price.