WorldCom

(WCOM)

cut its 2002 guidance Friday afternoon, saying the continuing deterioration of the telecommunications sector more than likely has made its prior targets unreachable.

Shares of WorldCom ended the regular session down 35 cents, or 5.5%, to $5.98, and in after-hours Instinet trading, the stock sank more than 15% to $5.06.

The WorldCom Group now expects full-year revenue of $21 billion to $21.5 billion, short of analysts' consensus forecast of $22.2 billion. The company also expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $7 billion to $7.5 billion. Analysts were looking for EBITDA of more than $8 billion.

As a result of the weak revenue, WorldCom was forced to cut its capital spending estimate to about $4.5 billion, down from a prior plan of $5 billion. WorldCom spent $5.8 billion in 2001. Earlier this week, both

Sprint

(FON)

and

SBC Communications

(SBC)

lowered their capital spending plans for 2002.

WorldCom continues to expect about $1 billion of consolidated 2002 free cash flow from operations. The outlook for the

MCI Group

(MCIT)

wasn't changed. WorldCom will release first-quarter financial results April 25.