With its domestic and international wireless businesses adding nearly 1.3 million customers in the first three months of 2000, BellSouth Corp., the dominant local telephone company in the Southeastern United States, reports first-quarter earnings per share (EPS) before special items of 52 cents, a 13-percent increase over 1999. Consolidated revenues were a first quarter-record $6.5 billion, boosted by 30.6-percent growth in data revenues. Overall, Atlanta-based BellSouth’s profit, excluding one-time items, was $981 million, compared with $895 million (46 cents per share) in 1999. The results beat Wall Street’s earnings expectations of 51 cents per share, according to research firm First Call/Thomson Financial.

In addition, BellSouth, which serves nine southeastern states from Kentucky to Florida, posted an 8.6-percent rise in first-quarter revenues ($6.5 billion). “Our strategies in positioning BellSouth for more growth are based on the strength of our assets. Our deal to combine the domestic wireless operations of BellSouth and SBC Communications highlights that strength,” says Duane Ackerman, chairman and CEO of BellSouth.

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