WorldCom (WCOM) was up 3.7% in preopen Island trading after posting first-quarter earnings of 25 cents per share, in line with the Thomson Financial/First Call consensus but down from 41 cents a year ago.

The telecommunications company said weak returns from its long-distance business offset improvements in data, Internet and international revenue. The company, which plans to create a tracking stock for its long-distance operations, said revenue for the

WorldCom Group

, which includes the data business, should grow 12% to 15% for the year, with earnings per share of $1.25 to $1.35.

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The

MCI Group

long-distance division should have declining revenue while posting earnings of 25 to 30 cents per share.