Verizon Communications Inc. on Tuesday reported higher fourth-quarter earnings as revenue in its wireless business rose faster than its other operations, which also include Internet, television and home-phone service. The U.S. telecom giant’s financial data showed net earnings were $7.92 billion US for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared to $1.93 billion US a year earlier. The last quarter’s earnings included a $3.7-billion US gain related to the annual valuation of benefit plans and pension adjustments, as well as a $540-million US charge related to its purchase of Vodafone Group PLC’s 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless, Verizon said in a release. Revenue for the quarter was up 3.4 per cent to $31.07 billion US, Verizon’s quarterly data showed. Its wireless operations saw revenue of $21.13 billion US, a gain of 5.7 per cent from a year earlier. Verizon said it added a net 1.7 million retail wireless customers in the quarter, of which 1.6 million were postpaid. It said its retail wireless churn rate was 0.96 per cent, up one basis point from a year earlier, while its overall churn rate was 1.27 per cent, up three points from the fourth quarter of 2012. The company reported 35.1 million postpaid retail wireless accounts at the end of the fourth quarter, a 4.5 per cent gain for the year. Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose said in a research note that this represented “very strong wireless results for Verizon,” adding that it provides some insight into the next set of earnings from Canadian wireless incumbents. “In stark contrast to cable, which is reporting declines, incumbent wireless subscriber growth in North America still looks to be robust despite maturation,” Ghose said. Ghose predicted BCE Inc.’s postpaid wireless subscriber base grew 5.7 per cent in 2013, Telus Corp.’s was up 4.7 per cent and Rogers Communications Inc.’s was up 3.2 per cent.