Global Crossing Ltd. said Wednesday that its loss widened and its cash balance fell in March but that the company is on track to survive bankruptcy.
The telecommunications company, which filed for Bankruptcy Court protection Jan. 28, said its operating loss grew to $171 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with an operating loss of $152 million, or 17 cents, in February.
As of March 31, the company had about $894 million in cash listed on its balance sheet, down from about $1.72 billion at the end of February. Both figures exclude cash held by subsidiary Asia Global Crossing.
The drop in cash during March reflects most of the company's one-time costs associated with layoffs and office closures. Global added that its cash on hand as of March 31 was just $53 million less than it was Jan. 29.
FOR THE RECORD
Los Angeles Times Friday May 10, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 A2 Desk 2 inches; 37 words Type of Material: Correction
Global Crossing-A story in Thursday's Business section about Global Crossing Ltd.'s financial results for March misstated the amount of cash the company had at the end of February. The company had $1.072 billion in cash on Feb. 28, not $1.72 billion as reported.
Chief Executive John Legere said the results are in line with the performance promised to its creditors and bankers, who have been anxious to make sure the company's cash position does not erode during bankruptcy proceedings.
"We hit the bottom, we faced the ugliness of what we had to do ... and we've taken all the tough actions," Legere said Wednesday. "Customer retention is on track ... and we delivered the financials."
In the first quarter, Global Crossing cut 2,000 jobs, some of them through voluntary buyouts, and closed 181 offices to slash operating costs by 42%, to about $900million by the end of this year. An additional 36 offices are expected to be shuttered by the end of the year.
Despite the cutbacks, Legere said customers remain satisfied with the company's service. He said Global Crossing signed 475 service contracts with new and existing customers in the first three months of this year.
In a Wednesday release, Global Crossing estimated its first-quarter consolidated revenue to be $788million, including service revenue of about $754million.
Excluding revenue at Asia Global Crossing, the revenue for the period totaled $768million, including $736million in service revenue.
Global Crossing, which operates a worldwide fiber-optic network, is based in Bermuda and run from offices in Madison, N.J.