posted fourth-quarter earnings Monday of 59 cents per share, matching the consensus estimate of 19 brokers polled by
First Call/Thomson Financial
The Atlanta-based Baby Bell said its fourth-quarter profits rose amid strong sales of data and wireless telephone services. Profits were $1.1 billion, compared with $1.05 billion, or 55 cents a share, in the same period one year ago. The company also said its revenue rose 9.8% to $7.4 billion.
However, BellSouth also said the cost of expanding its high-speed Internet business and its Latin American wireless venture would hurt profit growth in 2001. Next year, BellSouth expects 7% to 9% growth in earnings a share, and revenue growth of between 9% and 11%. Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial are expected 2001 earnings per share of $2.40, an 8% rise over 2000 results.
BellSouth's shares closed at $43 on the
New York Stock Exchange
Friday. It's 52-week high is $53.50, and its 52-week low is $34.94.