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Verizon Wireless adds more than 1.4 million contract customers

Verizon Communications chief tells CNBC the wireless business posted a big quarterly gain in postpaid subscribers thanks in part to tablet and smartphone growth.

Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam James Martin/CNET

Verizon Wireless expects to report a net gain of more than 1.4 million postpaid customers in the second quarter, helped along by company-record tablet additions and smartphone growth.

"We think this is going to be a great quarter for us," Lowell McAdam, chairman and chief executive of Verizon Communications, parent of Verizon Wireless, said Thursday on CNBC.

That increase in Verizon Wireless' most profitable kind of customer would be substantially higher than the 941,000 postpaid net adds the company reported a year earlier.

McAdam, who was attending investment bank Allen & Co.'s conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, added that he expects the company to report wireless margins that are consistent with prior quarters and good postpaid churn, a measure of customer cancellations.

Verizon will report full second-quarter results on July 22. The company's shares were up about 1.4 percent just before the day's close.

McAdam also told CNBC that he doesn't see much likelihood of Verizon Communications buying satellite-TV provider Dish Network, a deal that was being speculated following rival AT&T's acquisition offer of fellow satellite-TV company DirecTV.

Verizon has sat out of the latest round of consolidation efforts in the telecommunications space, with AT&T's $48 billion deal for DirecTV and Sprint widely expected to make an offer for T-Mobile. Still, McAdam said Thursday he didn't "feel the need to do anything big," after his company reached a $130 billion deal -- its largest ever -- to buy the rest of Verizon Wireless from Vodafone.

"I haven't seen a scenario yet that owning a satellite company makes sense to us," he said. Still, he pointed to Dish's wireless spectrum as an attractive asset, saying, "Anything around spectrum is always of interest to us."

A Dish spokesman declined to comment.