AT&T Earnings Drop

AT&T ( T) posted a sharp drop in second-quarter earnings as it said it would shift its efforts away from consumer markets.

For its second quarter ended June 30, AT&T earned $108 million, or 14 cents a share. A year ago the company earned $536 million, or 68 cents a share. Revenue fell 13% from a year ago to $7.6 billion, as long-distance voice revenue continued to slide.

The company said it would stop soliciting new consumer business in an effort to focus on business customers. AT&T said it will continue to serve the consumer customers it has, but won't spend any more on growth efforts. The move comes on the heels of a regulatory ruling that abandons the pricing regime under which big local phone compaines were forced to rent their networks to long-distance players at reduced rates.

"AT&T is the leading provider of communications services to business customers, offering a full range of leading-edge networking and communications solutions on a global basis," said CEO David W. Dorman, who noted that nearly 75% of AT&T's revenue is now generated by AT&T Business. "We intend to widen the gap between AT&T and our competitors in the business market, while also improving our industry-leading cost structure and financial strength."

AT&T Business revenue fell 12.7% to $5.6 billion, while consumer revenue dropped 14.6% to $2 billion.

On Wednesday, AT&T closed at $14.32.

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