Wireless Fees Drive Verizon's Earnings Beat

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Verizon Communications reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts' expectations driven by growth in its wireless business on Thursday, but revenue came in a bit light.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares rose slightly in pre-market trading. (Click here to get the latest quotes for Verizon.)

The company posted first-quarter earnings excluding items of 68 cents per share, up from 59 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose to $29.42 billion from $28.24 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 66 cents per share on $29.55 in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Verizon Wireless, its venture with Vodafone Group, added 677,000 retail subscribers in the quarter, above Wall Street expectations for about 634,000, according to eight analysts contacted by Reuters.

Wireless service revenues rose 8.6 percent to $16.7 billion, accounting for more than half of overall revenue. At closest rival AT&T, wireless service revenue has been rising just over 4 percent per year.