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Sprint said Friday that it anticipates annual earnings at its

FON Group


subsidiary could be slightly lower than Wall Street expectations, on annual revenue growth of 3% this year.

The communications giant did not release earnings projections for its

PCS Group


, though it said it is expecting 90% revenue growth this year.

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Sprint is expecting earnings per share for the FON Group, which handles Sprint's long-distance and local telephone business, to fall between $1.80 and $1.90 a share in 2000, after strategic investments. On average, analysts surveyed by

First Call/ Thomson Financial

expect the group to earn $1.90 per share for the year. Sprint said earnings are projected to be slightly lower for the FON Group the following year, falling between $1.65 and $1.75 per share.

The FON Group expects its rate of revenue growth to improve in upcoming years, growing in the mid single digits in 2001 and at a double-digit rate the following year.

The PCS Group, which runs Sprint's all-digital wireless network that serves more than 7 million subscribers, is expecting revenue growth to slow down over the next two years. Revenue should grow an additional 50% next year, and another 30% to 35% in 2002.

Shares of Sprint's FON Group closed Thursday at $22.50 -- within a dollar of the 52-week low of $21.88 set in mid-October. The stock which has lost about two-thirds of its value since the start of the year, was downgraded Thursday by

Credit Suisse First Boston

to buy from strong buy.

Shares of Sprint's PCS Group have fared better. After slipping to a 52-week low of $27.81 in late September, the stock reversed course. It ended Thursday's session at $36.56.