Verizon Communications announced fourth-quarter earnings that matched analyst estimates.

For the quarter ending Dec. 31, the company reported operating revenues of $17.2 billion, up from the $17 billion reported the same quarter a year ago. Reported earnings were $2.3 billion — or 83 cents a share.

For the 2002, the company reported operating revenues of $67 billion. Earnings for the year were $8.4 billion, or $3.05 per share, up from $8.2 billion or $3.00 per share in 2001.

The company slashed its total debt nearly 16 percent in 2002, from $64.3 billion at the beginning of the year to $54.1 billion.

Verizon Wireless' revenue for the quarter grew 16.3 percent to $5.2 billion. The wireless division also netted 964,000 customers in the quarter, giving it 32.5 million subscribers total.

The company's retail churn, however, saw a slight sequential increase, rising from 2 percent in the third quarter to 2.1 percent during the fourth quarter.

In addition to reporting results for Verizon Wireless, the company announced that it is canceling plans for an IPO on the unit.

According to Doreen Toben, Verizon's CFO, the supreme court ruling in favor of NextWave Telecom's spectrum claims means that Verizon won't have to pay for the spectrum it won in the re-auction.

“With the resolution of the NextWave situation we have no immediate funding requirements,” she said.

In addition to providing financial results for the quarter and year, Verizon also provided guidance for 2003. The company expects to see revenue to stay flat or grow up to two percent for the year. Earnings per share, which will be negatively impacted by 41 to 43 cents due to reduced pension income, 2002 access line sales and an accounting change, will fall between $2.70 and $2.80.