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VoiceStream misses 1Q forecasts

    VoiceStream Wireless (Nasdaq: VSTR) fell short of the consensus estimate again in the first quarter.

    After market close Monday, the wireless communications provider reported a first quarter net loss of $203.3 million, or $1.68 per share. First Call's survey of 11 analysts predicted a loss of $1.14 per share, although individual forecasts ranged between losses of 81 cents and $1.90 per share.

    The reported loss includes $82.1 million in amortization costs, and a $5.6 million charge related to stock options. Analyst estimates appear to include all charges, according to First Call.

    VoiceStream missed the consensus forecast every quarter last year.

    Shares of VoiceStream plunged to 92 1/2 in afterhours activity on the Island electronic communications network. The stock closed Monday's regular trading at 105 1/4, down 10 13/16 for the session.

    First quarter revenue for VoiceStream rose 279.6 percent year-over-year to $257 million, boosted by its recently completed merger with Omnipoint.

    The company's customer base rose 334 percent year-over-year to 1.8 million, including 1.3 million monthly subscribers and more than half a million prepaid users.

    Excluding non-cash charges, VoiceStream posted a first quarter operating loss of $31.4 million.

    VoiceStream is one of the few remaining independent wireless service providers with nationwide reach. Others include Vodafone AirTouch (NYSE: VOD) and Nextel Communications (Nasdaq: NXTL).>