BellSouth

(BLS)

saw its second-quarter earnings cut by about two-thirds, primarily on losses from investments and the cost of workforce reductions. Adjusted to exclude those and other expenses, the company earned $996 million, or 53 cents a share, compared with $1.085 billion, or 58 cents a share, last year.

The company said its operating results continued to reflect weak demand for communications services, both in the U.S. and Latin America. The impact of market share loss in the U.S., as well as currency devaluations in Argentina and Venezuela, also hurt results. It also cited business failures among telecommunications companies.

Total operating revenue was $7.24 billion, down 1.6% from $7.35 billion a year ago. The communication group revenue fell 2.9% to $4.57 billion, while its domestic wireless revenue rose 6.1% to $1.5 billion. Latin America revenue tumbled 19.8% to $597 million.

The company predicted total operating revenue would fall 2%-3% in full-year 2002 and that normalized per-share earnings would be $2.13 to $2.20 a share.

The shares were falling 6.7% to $25.75 in the Instinet premarket.