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Teligent slips past 4Q estimates

Teligent posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter Monday, losing $156.6 million, or $2.89 a share, on sales of $15.5 million.

First Call consensus pegged the broadband communications services provider for a loss of $2.91 a share in the quarter.

Its shares closed up 5 7/16 to 89 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

In the year-ago quarter, Teligent (Nasdaq: TGNT) lost $105.3 million, or $2 a share, on sales of only $476,000.

For the year, Teligent lost $531.8 million, or $9.95 a share, on sales of $31.3 million, up from a loss of $281.5 million, or $5.35 a share, on sales of $960,000 in fiscal 1998.

"We had a tremendous year in 1999," said CEO Alex Mandl in a prepared release. "We created the foundation of our own Internet infrastructure. And we're moving to quickly establish a significant presence in the world of e-business and Web-based applications."

In the quarter, Teligent installed nearly 90,000 lines, more than double the 39,000 lines installed during the third quarter. The number of lines installed in the last three months of 1999 exceeded the total number of all lines installed during the company's brief history.

While the company will likely run in the red for a several years, it has managed to top analysts' estimates in the past two quarters.

Last quarter, it posted a loss of $143.6 million, or $2.66 a share, on sales of $10.3 million.

Its shares moved up to a 52-week high of 90 3/4 in February after falling to a low of 33 5/8 last March.

Thirteen of the 15 analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

First Call consensus expects it to lose $11.30 a share in fiscal 2000.