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3 Telecom Firms Post Losses in Quarter

Earnings: Verizon lowers projected sales growth for the year. AT&T Wireless, Level 3 also report declines.

April 24, 2002|CHRISTINE FREY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Verizon Communications Inc., the largest local-telephone company, posted a first-quarter loss after one-time write-offs and adjusted its 2002 forecast, saying it does not expect a U.S. economic turnaround until next year.

The company reported a loss of $501 million, or 18 cents a share, on revenue of $16.4 billion, down from net income of $1.57 billion, or 58 cents a share, on revenue of $16.3billion a year earlier. Excluding one-time write-offs, operating profit was flat at 72 cents a share.

Verizon, which had forecast a sales increase of as much as 5% this year, lowered its forecast to less than 1%.

The New York-based company said the number of Verizon Wireless customers added in the quarter fell short of projections.

Shares closed up 14 cents at $40.14 on the New York Stock Exchange.

AT&T Wireless Services Inc. reported a first-quarter loss but posted an increase in revenue and subscribers.

The country's No. 3 mobile-telephone firm had a loss of $176 million, or 7 cents a share, on revenue of $3.6 billion, down from a loss of 2 cents on revenue of $3.21billion a year earlier.

During the first three months of the year, service revenue increased by more than 14% and the company exceeded expectations with a net gain of 650,000 subscribers.

Shares of the Redmond, Wash.-based company closed up 84 cents at $8.94 on the NYSE.

Level 3 Communications Inc. posted a lower-than-expected loss for the first quarter as revenue fell. The communications and information-services company reported a net loss of $339 million, or 87 cents a share, on revenue of $386 million, down from a net loss of $535 million, or $1.45, on revenue of $448 million during the same period last year.

Level 3 had projected a net loss of $1.10 a share.

During the quarter, the Broomfield, Colo.-based firm eliminated $130 million in debt and received a $119-million tax refund.

Shares closed up 6 cents at $4.55 on Nasdaq.

*

Bloomberg News was used in compiling this report.

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