Revenue Slips at BellSouth

The company's second-quarter earnings exceed Wall Street's estimates.
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second-quarter operating earnings were essentially unchanged from a year ago, but revenue fell slightly, according to a statement the company released Wednesday morning.

When calculated according to generally accepted accounting principles, the company earned $951 million, or 51 cents a share, up from $263 million, or 14 cents a share, a year ago. The second quarter of 2002 includes charges totaling 38 cents a share.

Consolidated revenue fell to $5.64 billion from $5.78 billion last year. In accordance with GAAP, consolidated revenue doesn't include BellSouth's 40% share of Cingular Wireless.

Normalized total operating revenue, which includes Cingular, was $7.12 billion, a decline of 2% from the second quarter a year ago.

Excluding items, the company would have earned 52 cents in the second quarter, equaling the year-ago result. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a profit of 49 cents a share and revenue of $7.02 billion.

Long-distance and DSL high-speed Internet service boosted the results of BellSouth's communications group in the second quarter. The company had 2.8 million long-distance customers and 1.2 million DSL users. In addition, BellSouth Answers packages, which combine local, long-distance, Internet services and wireless all on one bill, increased to 2.1 million.