updated 10/28/2004 8:48:22 AM ET 2004-10-28T12:48:22

Verizon Communications Inc.'s third-quarter profit held steady at about $1.80 billion as declining revenues from traditional phone services at the nation's biggest telephone company were offset by another blockbuster quarter for Verizon Wireless, which added a record 1.7 million subscribers.

The profit reported Thursday amounted to 64 cents per share, matching most Wall Street forecasts. In the same quarter last year, Verizon earned $1.79 billion, which also worked out to 64 cents per share.

Third-quarter revenues totaled $18.21 billion, up 6.7 percent compared with $17.06 billion a year earlier.

Verizon Wireless, which is 45 percent owned by Vodafone PLC of Britain, accounted for 40 percent of the total with revenues of $7.31 billion, up 23 percent from last year's third-quarter tally of $5.94 billion.

Domestic telephone revenues slipped 2.1 percent to $9.65 billion compared with a year earlier, but that marked a slight gain compared with the second quarter of 2004 as Verizon began reaping the benefits of a sudden shift in the regulatory and competitive backdrop to the local phone industry.

In the summer, AT&T Corp. and MCI Corp. began withdrawing from that battlefield after a court ruling threw out rules which made it cheaper for those companies to sell their own local phone service by leasing residential lines from Verizon and other Bells at government-set rates.

And as Verizon began winning back local business, the company also continued to grab long-distance business from AT&T and other traditional leaders in that market, with revenues growing 8.7 percent to $1.09 billion.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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