Bell Atlantic's operating profits rise

October 20, 1993|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,Staff Writer The New York Times News Service contributed to this article.

Bell Atlantic Corp. rang up a robust increase in third-quarter operating profits yesterday as its cellular phone business posted strong revenue gains.

The earnings report was a further indication that Bell Atlantic was not a utility stock any more.

Last week, the Philadelphia-based company announced plans to merge with Tele-Communications Inc., the nation's largest cable company.

Bell Atlantic, parent company of Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. of Maryland, said net profits declined slightly to $378.5 million, or 87 cents a share, compared with $386.6 million, or 90 cents a share, the previous year.

Excluding a number of extraordinary items, third-quarter operating profits rose about 8.5 percent, to $386.7 million, or 89 cents a share, from $354.3 million, or 82 cents a share, a year ago.

Mark Roberts, a telecommunications analyst for Alex. Brown & Sons, said Bell Atlantic's earnings were right in line with analysts' expectations. "I would consider it positive," he said. Third-quarter revenue increased 3.1 percent, to $3.29 billion, from $3.19 billion in the same quarter of 1992.

Analysts were also encouraged by renewed indications, expressed by the company in a conference call, that its real estate and financial services units might be sold. By spinning off those units, Bell Atlantic could erase as much as $2 billion of debt from its balance sheet.

Bell Atlantic Corp.

/!.. .... Ticker .. .. Yesterday's .. . .. Symbol .. .. Cls. .. Chg.

.. ... .BEL ... .. ..64 5/8 - 3/8

Period ended

Sept. 30 . .. 3rd qtr. .. .. Year ago .. .. Chg.

Revenue .. .. $3,289,600 ... $3,187,000 ... +3.2%

Net Income .. $378,500 .. .. $386,600 .. ...-2.1%

Primary EPS . .. $0.87 .. ... $0.90 . .. ...-3.3%

.. .. .. .. . 9 mos. ... .. Year ago .. .. Chg.

Revenue ... . $9,673,300 ... $9,444,200 ... +2.4%

Net Income .. $1,155,300 ... $1,023,300 .. +12.9%

Primary EPS . $2.65 .. .. .. $2.39 .. .. . +10.9%

Figures in thousands (except per share data.)

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