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Sprint Beats Expectations

Revenue fell 3%, but the company posted a profit as both its long-distance and wireless operations outperformed projections.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Despite a 3 percent fall in revenue, phone giant Sprint Corp. posted a second-quarter profit of $7 million Monday, and the performance of both its long-distance and wireless operations exceeded analysts' expectations.

Sprint's profit came after a loss of $68 million in the same quarter a year ago. The company's revenue fell to $6.5 billion from $6.7 billion, reflecting the ongoing turmoil facing Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint and many of its rivals in telecommunications.

In fact, Sprint said its landline unit will spend about $200 million less on capital expenditures this year than previously forecast.

Still, Sprint's landline and wireless divisions, which have separately traded stocks on Wall Street, each beat the forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

The long-distance unit reported earnings of $99 million, or 11 cents per share, during the three months ending June 30. Those figures were down from a profit of $102 million, 12 cents per share, during the second quarter of 2002.

The division reported that its revenue dropped about 8 percent, to $3.53 billion, compared with $3.84 billion during the first quarter of 2002.

When one-time events were excluded, including the $2 billion sale of the company's directory publishing company, the long-distance unit posted earnings per share of 35 cents. Analysts had been expecting 33 cents per share.

Sprint's PCS wireless division lost $92 million, 9 cents per share, an improvement over a loss of $170 million, 17 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue also improved, rising 2.6 percent to $3.1 billion from $3.0 billion a year ago.

Analysts had been expecting Sprint PCS to lose 11 cents a share.

For the first six months of 2003, Sprint earned $1.7 billion on revenue of $12.8 billion, compared to a profit of $72 million and revenue of $13.3 billion in the first half of 2002.

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