updated 4/30/2007 9:25:10 AM ET 2007-04-30T13:25:10

Verizon Communications Inc.'s first-quarter earnings fell 8.4 percent to $1.5 billion as the telephone company's divestiture of certain operations offset another strong showing by its fast-growing wireless business.

The profit for the first three months of 2007 amounted to 51 cents per share, the company reported Monday. In the same period last year, before Verizon's divestiture of its phone directories business, earnings totaled $1.63 billion, or 56 cents per share.

The latest results included a loss of 5 cents per share on the forced divestiture of Verizon's stake in a Venezuelan telecommunications company as the government there nationalized assets.

Excluding that loss and other unusual factors, first-quarter profits totaled 56 cents per share, topping the forecasts of most Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

First-quarter revenue grew 6.4 percent to $22.58 billion from $21.23 billion a year earlier.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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