Updated from 11:38 a.m. EDT

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

led other telecommunications companies, reporting strong earnings Thursday, while

GTE

(GTE) - Get Report

and

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

posted less impressive results for the quarter.

WorldCom said net income jumped 80% to $1.3 billion, or 44 cents a diluted share, from $720 million, or 24 cents a share, from the first quarter in 1999.

The results beat

First Call/Thomson Financial's

consensus expectation of 43 cents.

The stock closed up 4 1/2, or 11%, to 45 3/8.

The company, based in Clinton, Miss., said profits were propelled by strong Internet and data services, international revenues, and declining access and technology costs.

Revenue rose 14% to $10 billion from $8.7 billion.

"On an annualized basis, data, Internet and international services represent more than $18 billion of annualized revenue growing at 32%,'' Bernard Ebbers, president and chief executive of WorldCom, said in a statement. "We are clearly leading the communications industry into a new era dominated by data- and Internet-based services.''

GTE shares slipped after the company posted earnings that met analysts' expectations, but fell short of the higher whisper number. GTE finished down 2 5/16, or 3%, at 69 3/4.

The Irving Texas-based telecommunications provider said Thursday it has earned 82 cents for the quarter ended March 31 compared with 74 cents in the first quarter of 1999. Analysts polled by

Whispernumber

, a firm that tracks analyst sentiment, were looking for 90 cents for the quarter.

Net income, excluding extraordinary items that favorably affected both periods, increased 11% to $796 million from $717 million in the year-ago quarter.

Charles Lee, GTE chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that solid results from GTE's core operations allowed them to invest in higher-growth opportunities through data, wireless and long-distance businesses.

Revenues increased 10% to $6.1 billion from adjusted revenue of $5.6 billion in the year-earlier quarter. GTE's bundled offerings of services over broadband networks provided the strongest revenue growth among its businesses, with sales more than doubled to $51 million from

GTE agreed to merge with

Bell Atlantic

last year. The companies are awaiting approval from the

Federal Communications Commission

.

Meanwhile, Nokia said operating profit rose 71% to $1.27 billion, while sales rose 69% to $6.31 billion.

The

New York Stock Exchange

-listed shares of the Helsinki, Finland-based company finished up 4 3/8, or 8%, at 56 1/4.

Jorma Ollila, Nokia chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that he was confident the company would grow revenue by at least the previously forecast range of 30% to 40%, based on current market conditions.