SBC Communications


posted solid first-quarter earnings Thursday and stuck with the financial forecast it struck in January.

The big phone company reported a first-quarter operating profit of $2.46 billion, or 74 cents a share, up from $1.63 billion, or 48 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue slipped to $10.33 billion from $10.52 billion a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, latest-quarter net was 42 cents a share, beating the Wall Street consensus of 37 cents.

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"Our execution in the first quarter was solid, as we gained additional momentum in key growth drivers," CEO Edward E. Whitacre Jr. said. "We had our best-ever quarter for DSL and long-distance subscriber growth, and we expect continued strong results from innovative product bundles and an aggressive marketing campaign."

On Thursday, SBC rose 24 cents to $22.04.