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AirGate PCS tops estimates

AirGate PCS, Inc. (Nasdaq: PCSA) reported a hefty loss of $1.40 a share for its second quarter Thursday, coming in slightly ahead of First Call's expected loss of $1.48 a share.

Shares in the Sprint PCS (NYSE: PCS) network partner closed at 84 Wednesday, below their 52-week high of 114 1/2. The stock has taken off since the company made its IPO in September.

Revenue for the quarter was $1.6 million. There was no revenue for the corresponding period in 1999, as the company wasn't operational. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), was a loss of $11.9 million, much wider than the loss of $598,000 for the same period a year ago.

Net loss of $17.1 million, or $1.40 a share, was also wider than the net loss of $1.6 million, or 47 cents a share in the same period of 1999.

Though losses continued as the company completes its network build-out, AirGate said it is pleased with the initial results, and is ahead of scheduled build out with 89 percent of the cell sites under construction or completed. The company also expects additional revenue down the road from Sprint PCS customers who use the AirGate PCS network while traveling in its territory.

The company's competitors include BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) and Nextel (Nasdaq: NXTL).