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Western Wireless Posts a Profit

Fourth-quarter numbers hit targets.
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Western Wireless


posted a fourth-quarter profit Thursday on a 36% rise in sales.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the Bellevue, Wash., company posted earnings or $2.1 million, or 2 cents a share, reversing the year-ago loss of $22.9 million, or 29 cents a share. Revenue hit $413.6 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast a break-even quarter on $413 million in revenue.

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Revenue per average subscriber rose 10% to $48.08, while adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 8% to $104.8 million.

Consistent gross subscriber additions and lower churn resulted in strong net subscriber additions during the quarter of 24,800, Western Wireless said. Churn during the fourth quarter averaged 2.1% per month.

In after-hours trading, Western Wireless fell 42 cents, to $25.73.