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AT&T tops 2Q estimates, sales up 4.5%

AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) topped Wall Street estimates Tuesday with second quarter earnings of $1.88 billion, or 57 cents a share, excluding charges.

Earnings tracking firm First Call Corp. projected earnings of 53 cents a share. Including ownership and acquisition charges, the company reported earnings of $1.74 billion, or 53 cents a share. In the same quarter a year ago, AT&T reported earnings of 49 cents a share. The company lowered its growth projections in the first quarter.

Second quarter revenue was up 4.5 percent to $16.2 billion compared to $15.75 billion for the year ago quarter. The increase includes the positive impact of the MediaOne and IBM Global Network acquisitions, partially offset by the effect of the Concert joint venture.

On a conference call, officials said revenue was not up to their expectations and the second half would show improvement. Management didn't detail how much strong second half revenue growth would be.

AT&T's business services, wireless and broadband units all reported revenue gains in the quarter. Price competition in the long distance market hurt consumer services revenue.

Business services revenue was up 4 percent in the quarter to $7.1 billion. Consumer services sales fell 7.2 percent to $5 billion. Wireless revenue jumped 31.9 percent to $2.5 billion and broadband revenue was up 10.5 percent to $1.7 billion.

AT&T said it added 400,000 households to its broadband customer base in the quarter. The company has 2 million digital video customers and 689,000 high-speed data customers.

In a separate statement, AT&T Wireless (NYSE: AWE), which trades as an AT&T tracking stock, reported average monthly revenue per user of $71.50, up 7.7 percent.

Including a host of recent acquisitions, AT&T Wireless added 532,000 net subscribers in the second quarter. The company has more than 14 million subscribers total.

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