Verizon beat analysts' expectations for its fourth-quarter earnings, reporting on Tuesday a profit of $5.07 billion on revenue of $31.07 billion.
The company actually showed net income of $7.92 billion but had to give $2.85 billion of that to Vodafone, which owns 45 percent of Verizon Wireless. However, that stake soon will disappear, as Verizon is purchasing Vodafone's shares.
On the whole, investors were hoping for revenue of $31.02 billion and 65 cents per share. They got more than what they wanted on the revenue side, and a 66-per-share valuation, to boot.
Verizon bolstered its earnings in part by increase per-subscriber revenue. The company said the average user paid 7.1 percent more, for a total of $157.21 per month. Verizon credited the increase to FiOS subscriptions and to LTE, noting that it activated 9 million LTE smartphones and tablets in the fourth quarter.
That brings to 42.7 million the number of LTE devices that Verizon powers. That also means the company has boosted its postpaid LTE accounts from 23.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 44.1 percent for the fourth quarter of 2013. Further, Verizon said about 69 percent of all of its data traffic now runs on the LTE network.
Verizon is the largest wireless provider in the United States.