Bell Atlantic growth again in double digits Telecommunications

January 22, 1998|By Mark Ribbing | Mark Ribbing,SUN STAFF

Bell Atlantic Corp., the dominant local telephone company in Maryland, reported 1997 earnings per share of $4.96 before special charges and gains yesterday, 10.5 percent higher than in 1996.

Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Raymond W. Smith said in a statement, "1997 was Bell Atlantic's third consecutive year of double-digit earnings growth, with results for the full year, as well as the quarter, in line with expectations."

The New York-based regional phone company had fourth-quarter earnings of $1.25 per share before special items, up 6.8 percent from the same period in 1996 but slightly lower than some analysts had predicted.

Richard G. Klugman, of Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York, said his firm had anticipated that Bell Atlantic would be earning $1.28 per share.

"Everything was pretty much as we thought it would be. The bottom line was a few pennies less than expected," Klugman said.

Bell Atlantic said it had $970.9 million in adjusted net income in the fourth quarter of 1997, compared with $909.5 million for the fourth quarter of 1996.

Quarterly revenue before special items was $7.7 billion, up from $7.5 billion for the same period in 1996.

For the year, Bell Atlantic's adjusted net income was $3.8 billion, up from $3.5 billion in 1996.

In 1997 the company took in $30.5 billion in revenue, adjusted for special charges and gains, compared with $29.2 billion in 1996.

Pub Date: 1/22/98

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