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AT&T reports fourth quarter earnings, things looking less rosy

Chris Ziegler

Verizon managed to pull off an impressive 15 percent growth in revenue in the fourth quarter of the year thanks in large part to its wireless unit, but its closest rival -- AT&T -- didn't manage to come across the same good fortune. Contrasting to its strong Q3, reported earnings per share fell 10 cents in Q4 versus the year prior, making for a nearly 20 percent drop; on the upside, full-year EPS still rose from $1.97 to $2.16 on the strength of 2008's first three quarters. The last three months of the year saw some 1.9 million iPhone 3G activations, 40 percent of which were new to the carrier -- not bad -- and data revenues consider to shoot through the roof, rising another 51.2 percent. Might as well invest the revenue you do have into beefing up that data network now that you've got everyone hooked on it, eh, guys?

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