Verizon posts a loss

  07/31/2001 2:42:09 PM MDT Albuquerque, Nm
  By Dustin D. Brand; Owner AMO

Verizon, now the #1 US Local telephone company after it's purchase of BellSouth, posts a second-quarter loss.
  Verizon Communications , on Tuesday posted a second-quarter net loss on charges to write down its investment in other telecommunications companies, and cut its growth outlook for the full year.

  Verizon's second-quarter net loss totaled $1.0 billion, or 38 cents a share, compared with a profit of $4.9 billion, or $1.79 a share, a year ago.

  Excluding $3.1 billion in charges to write down investments in firms such as Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. , Verizon posted second-quarter earnings of $2.1 billion, or 77 cents a share, compared with $2.0 billion, or 72 cents, a year ago. The year-ago quarter included a $1.9 billion gain from restructuring its investment in Cable & Wireless Communications.

  For the full year, New York-based Verizon cut its earnings outlook to a range of $3.07 to $3.12 a share, from a previous range of $3.13 to $3.17. It cut its revenue growth outlook to a range of 5 percent to 6 percent, down from its earlier forecast of 7 percent.

  Verizon said the weak economy has dampened demand for traditional telephone services. In the second quarter, Verizon's core Domestic Telecom unit posted revenues of $10.953 billion, essentially flat with the year-ago $10.916 billion. Total telephone-access lines fell 0.4 percent to 62.465 million lines.

  Verizon added 120,000 Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) for high-speed Internet access, a decrease from the 180,000 DSL customers it added in the first quarter. Verizon, which ended the second quarter with about 840,000 customers, said it still expects to have about 1.2 million to 1.3 million DSL subscribers by year-end.

  Verizon Long Distance, the nation's fourth largest long-distance provider, added about 804,000 new customers in the quarter and ended the quarter with 6.0 million customers nationwide. It increased its year-end subscriber target to 6.7 million to 6.9 million customers, up from a previous target of 6.4 million to 6.6 million subscribers.

  As previously announced, Verizon Wireless added 808,000 net new customers during the second quarter 2001, increasing its total customer base to 27.9 million, up 12.7 percent from the year-ago quarter. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon and Britain's Vodafone Group Plc .