SBC Communications Inc., the parent company of Pacific Bell, Ameritech, Southwestern Bell and Southern New England Telecommunications, announces that its first-quarter earnings will fall short of analysts’ estimates. The company cites increased expenses associated with acquisitions and the rollout of new and improved services.

SBC says it expects to earn 50 cents to 53 cents a share for the first quarter; the mean estimate of analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial was for earnings of 59 cents per share. The company expects to report earnings for the second, third and fourth quarters above 60 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by First Call were expecting earnings of 62 cents a share in the second quarter, 64 cents per share in the third quarter and 69 cents a share in the fourth quarter.

SBC’s increased expenses, due to a number of factors, such as the rollout of DSL service and an upgrade of Ameritech phone services, will be reflected in its first quarter 2001 results. “SBC has begun 2001 with good momentum in the marketplace,” says Edward E. Whitacre Jr., SBC chairman and CEO. “Our core business and growth assets are solid, we have financial strength and flexibility and we are intensely focused on operations and winning with customers. These factors add to our confidence that SBC is on track to achieve strong earnings growth in 2001.”

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