Verizon EPS fall short of Wall Street estimates

Verizon Communications Inc profit fell short of Wall Street expectations on Tuesday, even as the company's revenue rose 4.8 percent, its highest growth rate in five quarters.

Excluding unusual items, its earnings per share of 0.84 cents fell short of Wall Street expectations of 87 cents per share.

The No. 1 U.S. mobile provider earned $5.98 billion in the first quarter, compared with $4.86 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Verizon shares rose to $47.63 in premarket trade after closing at $47.43 in the regular New York Stock Exchange session.

The company's wireless business added 549,000 subscribers in the quarter, compared with the 528,000 adds estimated by Wall Street.

On the wireline side, it said it added 57,000 FiOS video customers and 98,000 net new FiOS Internet connections in the quarter.

The company said wireless customer defections, known in the industry as churn, increased slightly from the year-ago quarter.

While its rivals have engaged in aggressive discounts, Verizon has been more conservative in launching its price cuts, and has relied on its status as the industry leader in high-speed data to lure in subscribers.

Revenue increased to $30.82 billion from $29.42 billion a year earlier. Wall Street expected $30.698 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Its February acquisition of Vodafone's 45 percent share in their prior joint venture for $130 billion gave the company access to greater amounts of cash flow.

(Reporting By Marina Lopes)