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Verizon posts revenue increase on strong mobile growth

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc said on Tuesday its quarterly revenue rose 3.4 percent, slightly ahead of Wall Street estimates as it added more subscribers than expected at its Verizon Wireless venture with Vodafone Group Plc.

Verizon, which has agreed to buy Vodafone's 45 percent share in their venture for $130 billion, said the wireless business added 1.6 million subscribers in the quarter, compared with the average expectation for 1.5 million from five analysts contacted by Reuters.

Verizon shares rose 0.8 percent in early trade after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings of $5.07 billion, or $1.76 per share, compared with a loss of $4.23 billion, or $1.48 per share, in the year-ago period, including pension-related charges in both quarters.

Revenue increased to $31.1 billion from $30.05 billion a year earlier. Wall Street expected $31.02 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Verizon shares rose to $48.73 in premarket trade after closing at $48.35 in the regular New York Stock Exchange session.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)