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Wireless electrifies AT&T earnings

The telecommunications giant says that its wireless income nearly doubled in the first quarter, but it declines to offer any hard numbers on iPhone sales.

Strength in its wireless operations helped propel AT&T to healthy earnings growth for the first quarter.

AT&T art

For the period that ended March 31, the telecommunications giant reported net income of $3.5 billion, or 57 cents per share, on revenue of $30.7 billion. Net income was up 22 percent from the year-ago quarter, while revenue rose 6 percent.

Income for AT&T's wireless segment nearly doubled, leaping 95 percent from a year earlier to $2.9 billion. Revenue for the wireless business was $11.8 billion, up 18 percent. The company also reported gains in broadband and Internet Protocol-based services.

In its statement Tuesday morning, AT&T did not offer any updates on its sales of Apple's iPhone, for which it is the exclusive carrier in the U.S. The company also declined to give hard data in its conference call with analysts. "The iPhone again continues to be very popular with customers, and customer feedback on the device is very good," CFO Rick Lindner said, according to a Barron's report. "Through the first quarter, it was pretty stable" in terms of sales, Lindner said.

The company's wireline operations, by contrast, decline 2 percent in both earnings (to $2.8 billion) and revenue ($17.6 billion).

On Friday, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailed AT&T's plan to lay off about 1.5 percent of its workforce, with an ensuing pretax charge of $374 million for the first quarter.

At midday Tuesday, AT&T's shares were up less than 1 percent to $37.91.