WorldCom lowers 2002 revenue outlook

WorldCom Inc. shares were clobbered in after-hours trading Friday after the company slashed its full-year 2002 financial guidance, saying the change reflects the current telecommunications market with Internet and data network cutbacks by corporate customers and shrunken voice volumes.

The new guidance, which the company termed a "reduced revenue and earnings outlook," is for the WorldCom group subsidiary, while the MCI group guidance remains on target, the parent company said in a statement released after the U.S. stock market closed for the business week. WorldCom, based in Clinton, Mississippi, now expects WorldCom group to generate 2002 revenue of US$21 billion to $21.5 billion , EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $7 billion to $7.5 billion with capital expenditures of about $4.5 billion.

The company will release first quarter 2002 financial results Thursday.

WorldCom was the fourth most-traded Nasdaq stock in after-hours trading at Instinet Inc., according to that company's Web site. The company's stock closed the week at $5.98 and dropped to $4.90 after the statement was released.

In February, when the company released reported WorldCom group 2001 revenue of $21.3 billion and earnings per share of 70 cents, it forecast growth in the mid-single digit percentage range for its full-year 2002 revenue and EBITDA. It further projected earnings for WorldCom group of between $0.75 and $0.80 per share with full-year 2002 capital expenditures of $5 billion to $5.5 billion.

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