Bell Atlantic earnings rise 10%

Sales march forward faster than expenses

Telecommunications

April 23, 1999|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic Corp. said yesterday that first-quarter earnings rose 10 percent, matching estimates, as the company's sales increased faster than its expenses.

Profit from operations rose to $1.15 billion, or 73 cents a share, from $1.04 billion, or 66 cents, a year ago. Per-share results matched the average estimate of 17 analysts by First Call Corp.

Bell Atlantic, which sells local phone services in 13 states from Maine to Virginia, had a 4.1 percent jump in revenue to $7.97 billion from $7.65 billion, led by growth in data and wireless services. Bell Atlantic kept costs in check, with total operating expenses rising 3.2 percent.

Bell Atlantic has accelerated the introduction of its asymmetrical digital subscriber line high-speed data technology to pass 8 million homes by 2000 and 16 million by 2001.

Bell Atlantic fell 62.5 cents to $57.875.

Revenue from its U.S. phone operations rose 2.8 percent from a year ago. More than 75 percent of that growth came from sales of data services. Data revenue was $659 million, up almost 27 percent from a year ago.

In its global wireless operations, Bell Atlantic added 532,000 customers, up 35 percent from a year ago.

The company has more than 2.2 million international wireless customers, which accounts for almost one-quarter of its total wireless customer base.

Wireless revenue rose 31 percent to $1.3 billion.

In its U.S. wireless operations, Bell Atlantic said it added 190,000 customers, bringing its total to 6.4 million, an increase of 17 percent. Revenue from U.S. wireless operations rose 16 percent to $908 million.

Pub Date: 4/23/99

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