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Allegiance Telecom misses 4Q forecasts, sets stock split

Allegiance Telecom Inc. (Nasdaq: ALGX) posted a wider-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter Tuesday but announced a 3-for-2 stock split.

Its shares closed up 1 7/16 to 124 15/16 ahead of the earnings report.

In the quarter, it lost $60 million, or 93 cents a share, on sales of $39.3 million.

First Call consensus expected the competitive local exchange carrier to lose 91 cents a share in the quarter.

In the year-ago quarter, it lost $39.8 million, or 79 cents a share, on sales of $5.6 million.

Allegiance sold 75,400 new lines in the quarter, up from 69,800 in the third quarter. Total lines installed jumped to 60,300 from 51,100 in the previous quarter.

"1999 was a very successful year, highlighted by continued rapid growth, significant margin improvement and excellent execution in achieving our operational and financial targets," said CEO Royce Holland in a prepared release.

For the year, Allegiance lost $214.7 million, or $3.55 a share, on sales of $99 million compared to a loss of $246.4 million, or $10.53 a share, on sales of $9.8 million in fiscal 1998.

Allegiance shares soared to a 52-week high of 137 in January after falling to a low of 21 1/4 last February.

Ten of the 13 analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.