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posted a gaping third-quarter loss that reflected an already-disclosed charge to write down the value of its network and brand name. Revenue at the former


also slid from a year ago.

The Asburn, Va., voice and data carrier lost $3.4 billion, or $10.65 a share, in the three months to Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $55 million a year ago. Revenue was $5.08 billion in the quarter, down 15% from a year ago and down 3% from the second quarter.

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MCI's latest quarter included a charge of $3.5 billion to reduce the carrying value of various assets, before which it posted operating income of $121 million, compared with $77 million last year. The company, whose trip through bankruptcy was supposed to result in a leaner competitor to


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and the regional bells, said its selling, general and administrative expense was $1.2 billion in the third quarter, down 24% from a year ago and down 5% from the second quarter.

MCI's biggest unit, its consumer and small-business U.S. Sales & Service division, posted third-quarter revenue of $2.2 billion, down 17% from last year and down 3% from the second quarter. Within the segment, commercial revenue was $960 million, down 15% from a year ago and 6% from the second quarter, while mass market revenue was $1.3 billion, down 18% from a year ago and 1% from the second quarter.

The stock was unchanged at $17.25 on Instinet.