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Williams Communications


expects to double its network revenue in the first quarter compared with the same period a year ago.

The fiber-optic network company, which is Tulsa, Okla., told investors and analysts this morning that it sees network revenue of $243 million to $250 million in the first quarter. For the full year, Williams projected network revenue of $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion.

Williams, which is 85%-owned by energy company

Williams Cos.


, also projected consolidated expenditures of $1.8 billion to $2 billion for 2001.

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The communications company is in the process of building one of the nation's largest fiber-optic networks, even as the industry has been hit with a

spending slowdown. Analysts have been looking out for the ways Williams plans to

raise more money.

Shares of Williams Communications were lately down 19 cents, or 1.1%, to $16.91 on the

New York Stock Exchange

. Parent company Williams rose $1.06, or 2.4%, to $45.04 on the Big Board.

This morning,

Goldman Sachs

raised its 2001 earnings outlook for Williams Cos. to $2.25 from $2. The firm increased its expectation for 2002 to $2.50 from $2.25.