NEW YORK — American Telephone & Telegraph Co. said today its profit slipped about 1% in the fourth quarter, despite achieving record revenue, in part because of higher interest expenses and other charges.
AT&T said it earned $698 million, or 64 cents a share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared to $705 million, or 65 cents a share, in the same quarter of 1989.
Revenue totaled $9.96 billion, up 7% from $9.31 billion.
The nation's largest long-distance phone company said it had higher interest expenses on debt in the most recent quarter compared to a year earlier. It also set aside more money for the potential settlement of lawsuits, said spokesman Dick Gray.
In addition, AT&T had lower income from other sources during 1990's fourth quarter than it did a year earlier. In the 1989 quarter, the company reported a one-time gain of $69 million when it exchanged its holding in the Italian comany Olivetti for a stake in Olivetti's parent company, Gray said.
"On the revenue side we had a great quarter, considering the economy," Gray said.
Revenue was especially promising in international sales of telephone equipment, such as phone switches and fiber-optic cable, he said.
For all of 1990, AT&T had a profit of $2.74 billion, or $2.51 a share, up about 1.4% from almost $2.7 billion, or $2.50 a share, in 1989.
Revenue totaled a record $37.3 billion, up 3.1% from $36.2 billion in 1989.