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WorldCom Reports Sharp Profit Rise

July 23, 1998

WorldCom Inc. on Thursday reported its second-quarter profits more than quintupled as revenues rose sharply across its range of business telecommunications services.

The nation’s fourth-largest long-distance phone company earned $227.5 million, or 21 cents a share on a diluted basis, in the three months ended June 30. That was up from a profit of $41.6 million, or 4 cents a share, in year-ago results that were calculated as if WorldCom’s merger with Brooks Fiber early this year had already been completed.

Revenue rose to $2.61 billion from $1.97 billion.

The results exceeded analysts’ expectations for a 20 cents-per-share profit, according to First Call. The company’s shares were up nearly 2 percent in afternoon trading, rising $1.06 1/2 at $55.37 1/2 per share on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

WorldCom, based in Jackson, Miss., cited a one-third increase in voice and data traffic across its network, including domestic, overseas and Internet usage.

For the first half of 1998, WorldCom earned $420.2 million, or 39 cents a diluted share. That compared with a loss of $194.8 million, or 19 cents a diluted share, in 1997′s first half.

Revenue rose to $5.04 billion from $3.83 billion.

WorldCom plans to complete its merger with MCI Communications Corp. this year. Chief executive Bernard Ebbers said that while it was ``unfortunate″ that MCI recently was pressured into selling its Internet businesses, WorldCom would continue to aggressively invest in the market’s fastest growing sectors.

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