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Telecommunications provider


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said Monday is expects full-year 2000 earnings to be in line with analysts' expectations and growth in its wireless division to "accelerate."

The Little Rock, Ark. company said it expects to post earnings of $2.70 to $2.72 a share for 2000, compared with last year's earnings of $2.59 a share. Eighteen analysts polled by

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expect the company to earn $2.71 a share.

Alltel also forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 60 cents to 63 cents a share, while cash earnings per share is expected to be 68 cents to 71 cents. The 16-analyst consensus calls for the company to earn 63 cents a share in the fourth quarter.

The company projected a net gain of 175,000 to 200,000 customers for the fourth quarter and 600,000 to 650,000 customers for the full year. Churn, or customer turnover, is expected to decline from the third quarter by 15 to 25 basis points, or 2.2 % to 2.3%.

Revenue from wireless operations is expected to be in the range of $885 million to $895 million, which the company said is expected to deliver $178 million to $184 million in operating income for the quarter. Average revenue per customer should range between $47.25 and $47.75.

Non-wireless revenue is expected to range from $441 million to $445 million and is expected to deliver $168 million to $172 million in operating income. The company also forecast emerging businesses revenue of $108 million to $112 million and information services revenue of $324 million to $328 million.