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MediaOne tops 4Q forecasts

    MediaOne Group (NYSE: UMG) topped analyst estimates in the fourth quarter.

    After market close Monday, the cable provider reported a fourth quarter loss of 17 cents per share, excluding one-time events. First Call's survey of six analysts predicted a loss of 34 cents per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

    Including $6.29 billion in stock sales, $273 million in costs related to the company's pending acquisition by AT&T (NYSE: T), and other non-recurring items, MediaOne earned $3.7 billion, or $5.79 per share.

    Fourth quarter revenue increased to $693 million from $643 million in the year ago period. Video, telephone and high-speed data businesses added a combined 274,000 subscribers to exceed company targets, MediaOne said.

    Also in the fourth quarter, MediaOne's share of revenue from Time Warner Entertainment totaled $943 million, a 14 percent gain year-over-year.

    For the full year, MediaOne lost $1.20 per share, excluding non-recurring items, on revenue of $2.7 billion.

    Also reporting quarterly results Monday was Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSK) , which saw a fourth quarter loss of $177 million, or 23 cents per share, excluding extraordinary items. First Call's survey of eight analysts predicted a profit of 4 cents per share.

    Including all $6.6 million in unusual charges, Comcast lost $181 million, or 24 cents per share.

    Comcast's fourth quarter revenue increased to $1.83 billion from $1.5 billion in the year-ago period. Operating cash flow rose to $533.7 million from $421.3 million a year earlier.

    The company's cable division reported fourth quarter revenue of $802.2 million on a pro forma basis, up 8.9 percent from the same period in 1998. Fourth quarter operating cash flow for Comcast Cable increased to $372.3 million from $338.4 million. Comcast added nearly 160,000 digital customers in the fourth quarter.

    Comcast's QVC retail division posted revenue of $888.3 million in the fourth quarter, a 17.8 percent gain year-over-year. QVC saw operating cash flow of $161.7 million in the quarter, compared to $142.6 million in the year earlier period.

    For the full year, Comcast earned $1.09 billion, or $1 per share excluding extraordinary events, on revenue of $6.21 billion.>