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Verizon Communications (VZ), a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communication services to mass markets, reported first-quarter earnings of $0.56 a share, a penny shy of our estimate, on sales of $26.9 billion. Although sales were up modestly, year over year, the bottom line continued to feel the effects of an uptick in the cost of services and an increase in pension expenses. Investors were also taken aback by the weaker wireless subscriber growth. The company’s wireless group, in its tie-up with Vodafone (VOD), only added about 425,000 highly coveted postpaid subscribers, which was far below Wall Street’s expectations.