Verizon and Qwest reported yesterday that the defection of their residential phone customers to cheaper Internet-based services picked up speed in the second quarter. But they said that strong sales of wireless and broadband services, as well as cost-cutting efforts, offset some of the losses. Verizon Communications, the nation’s No. 2 local phone carrier behind AT&T, earned $1.6 billion, or 55 cents a share, in the second quarter, a decline of 24 percent compared with $2.1 billion, or 75 cents a share, earned in the 2005 period. Revenue increased 26 percent, to $22.7 billion, partly because of revenue from MCI, which Verizon absorbed in January. If MCI’s revenue had been included in last year’s quarterly figures, the increase would have been 2.3 percent. Qwest Communications International, the fourth-largest carrier, earned $117 million, or 6 cents a quarter, in contrast to a $164 million loss a year earlier. It was the company’s second consecutive profit. Revenue was unchanged at $3.47 billion. Qwest’s continued recovery helped drive up its stock 61 cents yesterday, or 7.8 percent, to $8.40. Verizon’s stock sagged 55 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $33.27. Verizon lost just over a million local lines in the […]

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