AT&T LatAm posts loss, revenue grows –

AT&T Latin America Corp. posted solid revenue growth but a steep loss during its first fiscal quarter of 2002, ended March 31, 2002, the provider of voice and data telecommunication services for businesses said Tuesday.

The Miami company's shares (ATTL) were trading at US$1.17, down 3.22 percent, early in the afternoon. The earnings announcement was made before trading began Tuesday morning. The stock's 52-week high is $5.

Although Latin America's economic scenario isn't rosy, particularly in Argentina, the company is confident it is on a path to consistently narrow its losses and approach profitability, as it continues to cut expenses and increase its list of large multinational clients, officials said during a conference call Tuesday held to discuss the quarter's results.

"We continue to capitalize on the short- and long-term growth opportunities in Latin America. This region has historically experienced economic highs and lows, but ... we have built our business plan with the flexibility and scalability required to withstand periods of market downturn," said Patricio Northland, the company's president and chief executive officer. "Our service portfolio, geographic mix and customer segmentation help mitigate individual country vulnerabilities."

The company recently secured long-term financing from AT&T Corp., is done with its heaviest period of network deployment and continues to show revenue growth from both its data/Internet and voice services, Northland said.

AT&T Latin America's revenue rose 39.4 percent to $44.2 million from the same fiscal quarter last year. But when compared with the fourth fiscal quarter of 2001, revenue declined 4.7 percent.

The company posted a net loss of $77.5 million, or $0.65 per basic and diluted share. The net loss includes a one-time charge of $6.3 million, or $0.05 per share, related to restructuring of debt. One analyst polled by Thomson Financial/First Call had expected the company to post a loss of $0.54 per share, excluding one-time charges, which means the company missed this analyst's expectations by $0.06 per share.

AT&T Latin America had a net loss of $73 million or $0.63 per basic and diluted share, in 2001's first fiscal quarter.

AT&T Latin America provides voice and data/Internet telecommunication services to companies in five countries: Brazil, Argentina, Per

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