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Verizon earnings double on pension value

Earnings doubled at Verizon Communications Inc. in the latest quarter due to pension accounting effects, but the bottom-line result masked a weak quarter in the local-phone division, which was hammered by a strike and a hurricane.

In wireless, Verizon, the largest carrier, kept adding more high-paying subscribers than rival AT&T Inc. But like AT&T, it was hurt by the delayed launch of the new iPhone model, and missed analyst expectations for the number of new subscribers on contract-based plans.

Verizon on Friday said its net income rose to $1.38 billion, or 49 cents per share, in the three months ended Sep. 30. That's up from $659 million, or 23 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding an adjustment in the value of its pension plans, Verizon said it earned 56 cents per share. That is a penny above the average forecast of analysts polled by FactSet.

Pension adjustments were larger in last year's quarter. Without them, the latest earnings were about even with last year.

Revenue rose 5.4 percent to $27.9 billion from $26.5 billion a year ago and was in line with analysts' expectations.

Verizon Wireless added 882,000 subscribers on contract-based plans. That was a slowdown from iPhone-fueled results earlier in the year -- Verizon started selling the coveted smartphone in February. Analysts had expected about 950,000 additions in the quarter.

Shares of Verizon, which is based in New York, rose 32 cents to close at $37.42.

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