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VoiceStream Wireless gets past estimates

VoiceStream Wireless posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter Monday, dropping $651.2 million, or $2.54 a share, on sales of $732.1 million.

First Call consensus expected the wireless telephone company to lose $2.55 a share on sales of $658.2 million.

VoiceStream (Nasdaq: VSTR) shares were down $1.13 to close at $100.93 before the earnings report.

In the year-ago quarter, VoiceStream posted a loss of $203.3 million, or $1.66 a share, on sales of $258.4 million.

VoiceStream, which is being acquired by German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), added 484,000 new subscribers in its latest quarter, bringing its total customer base to more than 4.3 million subscribers.

"We showed strong top-line growth this quarter and significant improvements in costs after a year of integrating our national operations," said Chief Operating Officer Bob Stapleton in a prepared release.

Last quarter, VoiceStream Wireless missed analysts' estimates when it posted a loss of $807 million, or $3.49 a share, on sales of $649.9 million.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of $159.80 in July before falling to a low of $82.38 in April.

Six of the 12 analysts tracking the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

VoiceStream agreed to be acquired by Deutsche Telekom last July for about $29 billion. After clearing its final regulatory hurdle last week, the deal is expected to close May 31.

Analysts expect it to post a loss of $9.56 a share on sales of $3.28 billion in the fiscal year.

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