Verizon Communications Inc on Thursday beat second-quarter profit estimates as the largest US mobile carrier added far more net new phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill than expected.

Shares of the Dow component rose 1.4% before the bell after the company said it added a net 245,000 phone subscribers during the quarter. Analysts were expecting it to add 163,000 subscribers, according to research firm FactSet.

Analysts pay attention to postpaid customers, or those with a recurring bill, as they are more valuable to carriers and tend to remain with the company longer than prepaid customers.

Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint control more than 98% of the US wireless market and have wireless service revenues of more than $160 billion.

T-Mobile and Sprint, which  are in the process of merging, together have more than 135 million customers, while Verizon and AT&T control two-thirds of the total US wireless market.

Net income fell to $4.07 billion, or 95 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30 from $4.25 billion, or $1 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Verizon earned $1.23 per share, beating analyst average estimate of $1.20 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total operating revenue fell 0.4% to $32.1 billion and missed expectations of $32.41 billion.

Copyright Reuters, 2019