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VoiceStream Wireless gets past estimates

The wireless telephone maker posts a smaller-than-expected loss in its last quarter as an independent company.

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 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, 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," Chief Operating Officer Bob Stapleton said in a statement.

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.