BellSouth ( BLS) says changes in retiree pension and pills costs will add just a penny to its 2004 earnings.

In January, the Atlanta-based local phone giant said it expected a 7-cent benefit from accounting changes related subsidized medical benefits for its retirees. Now the company says the new accounting for those costs will be spread over a longer period.

The company also said its Latin American wireless assets, which are part of a pending sale, will be considered discontinued operations in its 2004 financial reports.

BellSouth is expected to report its first-quarter earnings on April 22. Analysts expect the company to post earnings of 51 cents on $7.2 billion. That compares to profit of 51 cents on $6.9 billion in revenue in the year-ago period.

On Wednesday, BellSouth rose 28 cents to $27.69.

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