Bell Atlantic reports loss for quarter

October 20, 1994|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,Sun Staff Writer

Bell Atlantic Corp. reported a $1.9 billion net loss for the third quarter yesterday as solid but unspectacular operating earnings growth offset a fraction of the $2.3 billion in charges the company announced in August.

The Philadelphia-based regional phone company reported that operating income came to $397.4 million, or 91 cents a share, up from $386.7 million, or 89 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenues for the third quarter increased to $3.4 billion, a 3.8 percent gain over the $3.29 billion taken in during last year's third quarter. The gain was paced by a 45.6 percent increase in cellular telephone revenues.

Tedd Alexander, an analyst with Legg Mason in Baltimore, noted that Bell Atlantic's number of cellular subscribers had risen by 57.5 percent -- the third straight quarter of more than 50 percent growth. "They are shooting the lights out in terms of adding cellular customers," he said.

Bell Atlantic's earnings statement is complicated by a number of charges and extraordinary gains posted during this quarter and the year-ago quarter. The largest of the charges was a $2.15 billion accounting change that essentially acknowledges that Bell Atlantic's existing telephone network is worth less than the amount it had been carrying on its books. An additional $99.5 million was set aside to cover the cost of reducing its work force by about 5,600 jobs.

Meanwhile, MCI Communications Corp., the Washington-based long-distance company that is seeking the right to compete with Bell Atlantic for local phone service in Maryland and Pennsylvania, reported that its net income jumped 26.4 percent during the same quarter. MCI, which is also in talks with Bell Atlantic and Nynex that could lead to a national partnership in the wireless arena, earned $220 million during the period, compared with $174 million in the third quarter of 1993.

Bell Atlantic Corp. ... ... ... ... Ticker ... ... ... ... Yesterday's

Philadelphia ... ... ... .. ... ... Symbol ... ... ... ... Cls. ... Chg.

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... BEL ... ... .. ... ... 52 1/8 .. .. + 3/4

Period ended

9/30 ... ... ... 3rd qtr. ... ... ... Year ago ... ... ... Chg.

Revenue .. .. .. $3,415,300 .. .. ... $3,289,600 .. .. ... +3.8%

Net Income .. .. ($1,874,300) ... ... $378,500 ... ... ... --

Primary EPS ... ($4.29) ... .. ... .. $0.22 ... ... ... .. --

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

Revenue ... ... $10,182,600 .. ... ... $9,673,000 ... .. .. +5.3%

Net Income .. .. ($1,069,700) .. .. .. $1,070,300 ... .. .. --

Primary EPS ... ($2.45) ... ... ... .. $2.46 ... ... ... .. --

Figures in thousands (except per share data.)

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