Verizon Communications Inc., the nation's second-largest telecommunications company, on Monday reported third-quarter earnings fell by a third from a year ago due to tax charges.

Verizon earned $1.27 billion, or 44 cents per share, in the July-September period, down 34 percent from $1.92 billion, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.

This year's figure includes a charge of 16 cents per share for taxes related to a minority investment in Italian cell-phone carrier Vodafone Omnitel, and 3 cents per share in other charges.

Excluding those charges, earnings would have been 63 cents per share, beating the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial by a penny a share.

Last year's earnings figure includes a number of businesses that have since been sold or spun-off, including the high-margin Yellow Pages business. Excluding those businesses, earnings in last year's second quarter was 53 cents per share.

Revenue came to $23.8 billion in the latest quarter, up 5.8 percent from $22.5 billion a year ago.