Bell Atlantic reports net loss of $8.1 million in 3rd quarter Figure includes one-time charges for retirement plans, other items

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

Bell Atlantic Corp., the telephone giant that dominates local service from Maine to Virginia, said yesterday that it had a net loss of $8.1 million, or 1 cent per diluted share, during its third quarter.

However, the figure includes $1.1 billion in one-time charges that the company took on employee retirement programs, Asian investments and costs relating to last year's merger with another Bell company, Nynex Corp. Bell Atlantic announced these charges on Oct. 13.

Without the charges, New-York based Bell Atlantic had $1.1 billion in quarterly net income, or 69 cents per diluted share, meeting analysts' estimates.

"We're beginning to see how well the company is able to benefit from the synergies of the Nynex merger," said analyst Scott Wright of Fahnestock & Co. in New York.

In the same quarter of last year, the company had a net loss of $80.1 million, or 5 cents per diluted share, due largely to the Nynex merger.

The company's adjusted net income during that quarter was $969.4 million, or 62 cents per diluted share.

On July 28, Bell Atlantic announced another merger, saying it was planning to pair up with GTE Corp.

Bell Atlantic reported $7.9 million in total operating revenue for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30.

This was 7.3 percent higher than the $7.4 million the company reported for the same period of 1997.

Revenue from high-capacity and digital data services was up 30 percent from last year's third quarter, while revenue from the global wireless sector rose 27.5 percent.

"We're very pleased with the results," said Bell Atlantic spokesman David Frail.

Bell Atlantic shares gained 68.75 cents yesterday, closing at $50.0625.

Pub Date: 10/22/98

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