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Alltel Meets Earnings Estimates

Alltel (AT) met analysts' first-quarter earnings expectations, but the company forecast that second-quarter income could come in at the lower range of Wall Street's estimates.

The telecommunications provider, which is based in Little Rock, Ark., said first-quarter earnings fell to $201.5 million, or 64 cents a share, from $221.9 million, or 70 cents a share, in the same period last year. According to Thomson Financial/First Call, 14 analysts expected the company to earn 64 cents a share for the quarter.

Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 rose to $1.80 billion from $1.64 billion a year ago.

In its conference call this morning, the company projected second-quarter earnings of 69 cents to 73 cents a share, compared with 73 cents in the year-ago period. For 2001, the company expects earnings of $2.85 to $3, compared with $2.72 in 2000. Analysts on average forecast second-quarter earnings of 73 cents a share and 2001 earnings of $2.88 a share.

Shares of Alltel lately gained $2.51, or 5%, to $53.17 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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