Verizon Communications Inc posted mobile customer growth that blew past Wall Street expectations for the fourth quarter but it reported a net loss from a hefty charge for worker layoffs.

Verizon, the majority owner of No. 1 mobile service Verizon Wireless, added 2.2 million mobile customers in the quarter compared with the average expectation for 1.5 million from four analysts contacted by Reuters.

It posted a net loss of $653 million, or 23 cents per share compared with net income of $1.24 billion, or 43 cents a share in the same quarter a year ago. Before items such as $3 billion in charges for workforce reductions, Verizon said it would have earned 54 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $27.1 billion from $24.65 billion in the year-earlier quarter, before it bought mobile service Alltel.

This compared with the average analyst estimate for $27.33 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Its shares fell 1.6 percent in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Derek Caney)