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Williams Communications


beat Wall Street's third-quarter estimates, as results were driven by strong network services execution.

The voice, video and data communications services provider reported a third-quarter loss of $150.5 million, or 32 cents a share. According to

First Call/Thomson Financial

, analysts were expecting the company to lose 49 cents a share for the period. Williams Communications lost $85.9 million, or 22 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Third-quarter revenue rose to $533.8 million, compared with revenue of $498.3 million a year ago.

Network services revenue totaled $178.2 million. Recurring domestic network services revenue, which excludes dark fiber sales and revenue from


, rose 32% from the second quarter and 121% from the year-ago third quarter.

Williams Communications continues to target 20% sequential growth in recurring network revenue, which excludes one-time dark fiber sales and revenue from PowerTel for the fourth quarter.

The company forecast full-year network revenue of $700 million, or about 10% above analysts' consensus. The company remains confident in its ability to meet current 2001 analysts' estimates for total network revenue of $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion.

The company is targeting the network being EBITDA-positive on an operational basis by the end of 2001.