By Gautham Nagesh - 01/26/11 03:55 PM EST
Verizon reported Tuesday that fourth-quarter revenue fell 2.6 percent from a year ago despite adding almost 900,000 new wireless subscribers.
The decline in revenue stems mainly from a decrease in the number of traditional wireline phone subscribers. Earnings per share were 93 cents, up from 22 cents a year ago.
"Verizon Wireless produced another quarter of impressive growth, with record-high profitability, as we continue to drive higher smartphone adoption and data use. Following another solid quarter in our wireline businesses, we are optimistic about opportunities to continue to expand wireline margins," said Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg.
Three-fourths of Verizon's new subscribers bought smartphones, bringing the number of subscribers to smartphones to about a quarter of Verizon's customers. That percentage lags behind rivals AT&T and Sprint, which have close to 40 percent of smartphone users.
Currently, Verizon users primarily purchase smartphones powered by Google's Android mobile operating system, but that will change next month when the nation's largest wireless company starts offering Apple's iPhone.
Investors will be watching first quarter results closely to see how many AT&T subscribers choose to bolt for Verizon once the iPhone is available.