NEW YORK (AP) -- Verizon's Share Everything plan looks like it's good for the company's shares, too.
The parent of the nations' largest cellphone company on Thursday reported a blow-out number of new devices on its network, boosted by the revolutionary plan, introduced four months ago. The plan made it cheaper for households to add wireless service to non-phone devices like tablets and laptops.
Verizon Wireless added a net 1.5 million devices to contract-based plans in the third quarter, more than it has in many years. Analysts were expecting it to add about 900,000. Including non-contract devices, overall additions were the strongest in four years.
Verizon said 13 percent of its customers with contract-based plans were already on Share Everything, signaling that the plan has caught on, helped by aggressive advertising.
The average household with a contract-based plan paid $145.42 per month in the quarter for wireless service, up 6.5 percent from a year ago.
The end of the quarter saw the launch of the iPhone 5, which also helped Verizon's numbers.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, New York-based Verizon reported earnings of $1.59 billion, or 56 cents per share. That's up from $1.38 billion, or 49 cents per share, a year ago.
Removing 8 cents per share in charges related to patent lawsuit settlements, earnings were 64 cents per share. That matched analysts' expectations.
Revenue increased 4 percent to $29.01 billion from $27.91 billion. That also matched analysts' expectations.
Verizon's stock added 1 cent to $44.73 in premarket trading on Thursday.
Verizon Communications owns 55 percent of Verizon Wireless. The rest of the wireless division is owned by Vodafone Group PLC of Britain.
The company also said it's still on pace to meet its 2012 financial goals.
Verizon's report marks the debut for telecommunications companies this earnings season. Rival AT&T Inc. reports on Wednesday.