BellSouth Profit Up 25 Percent
ATLANTA (AP) _ BellSouth Corp. on Tuesday said second-quarter profit rose 25 percent, boosted by stronger revenues from data and digital services and from new South American business.
The regional Baby Bell company reported net income of $818 million or 82 cents per share on a diluted basis. That was up from a profit of $654 million or 66 cents per share for the second quarter of 1997, when BellSouth took a one-time charge of $47 million for a regulatory settlement in South Carolina.
Revenues rose to $5.66 billion from $4.92 billion.
The company’s stock rose $1.06 1/4 to close at $67.68 3/4 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Revenues from BellSouth’s high-speed connection, networking and Internet services jumped 44 percent, to $432 million, for the recent quarter. The startup of wireless service in Brazil in May contributed to a 69 percent growth in international customers.
BellSouth also reported continued growth in its telephone access lines and in revenues from calling features such as caller identification, call return and voice messaging.
BellSouth chief executive Duane Ackerman said the company’s position in international markets is strengthening and ``setting the stage for future earnings growth.″
For the first six months of 1998, BellSouth’s net income was $1.7 billion, up 30 percent from $1.3 billion in the first half of 1997. Earnings per share were $1.73 on a diluted basis, compared with $1.36 a diluted share a year earlier.