AT&T earnings, revenue down for Q4

By George A. Chidi, Jr., IDG News Service |  Networking

AT&T Corp. announced pro forma earnings on Wednesday of US$0.05 per share for its fourth quarter, down significantly from the $0.24 per share earned a year ago but in line with analysts' estimates.

Pro forma revenue for the fourth quarter, adjusted for closed cable acquisitions and dispositions, and the deconsolidation of results from now-bankrupt Excite@Home Inc., declined by 6.1 percent, AT&T said in a statement.

AT&T's reported revenue of $12.59 billion for the quarter represents a decline of 9.5 percent over the year-ago quarter. Though AT&T showed a pro forma gain, the company will report a loss on continuing operations of $1.39 billion, or $0.39 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $0.52 per diluted share for the year-ago quarter.

The company took a $1 billion charge against earnings for restructuring in the fourth quarter, after laying off 5,100 employees in 2001 and planning to cut around 5,000 more jobs this year, mainly in its management divisions.

For the full year, AT&T reported earnings of $9.1 billion, or $2.50 per diluted share, reflecting the $13.5 billion after-tax gain from the spin-off of AT&T Wireless Services Inc. in 2001.

AT&T, like other big long distance companies, continues to lose revenue in long distance voice services. AT&T said the decline in voice service revenue was offset by growth in cable telephony and high-speed data, data and Internet Protocol services and its local phone service.

The company said it expects long-distance service revenue from business and consumer customers to decline further in 2002, with a slight acceleration in the first quarter of 2002.

AT&T expects first quarter earnings per share from continuing operations to be in the range of $0.02 to $0.05.

With an agreement reached in December to sell its cable television business to Comcast Corp. and plans to spin off its consumer long distance service as a separate tracking stock, the future AT&T will likely look very little like the past.

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