Telephone company



posted a massive fourth-quarter loss related to charges from exiting its high-speed communications network business.

The company lost $2.4 billion, or $10.92 a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2002, compared with a loss of $195.6 million, or 95 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Before charges, the company lost 12 cents a share; analysts had expected a loss of 17 cents a share. During the quarter, the company recorded a noncash asset impairment charge of $2.2 billion, or $6.55 a share, at its communications network subsidiary, Broadwing Communications.

Revenue was down 8% to $503 million, from $546 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. Broadwing Communications, which it sold, had posted quarterly revenue of $225 million, down 18%.

"While it has been a difficult year for our company and our industry, we have made notable progress against our restructuring plan over the last six months," said Kevin Mooney, chief executive of Broadwing. "We have strategically realigned our company, successfully completed a comprehensive amendment to our credit facility, and raised new capital. We remain focused on executing our restructuring plan, strengthening our financial position, and creating value for our shareholders."

The company said it arranged for $350 million in financing with Goldman Sachs in order to meet its debt obligations until 2006.

Shares of the Cincinnati-based company closed at $4.30 Wednesday on the

New York Stock Exchange