AT&T LatAm beats predictions but losses broaden

Broadband services provider AT&T Latin America (ATTL) reported widened losses for the second quarter Wednesday, as the region's economic troubles nipped at its revenue, although growing Internet and data demand helped keep the company from a more severe slide.

The company posted a net loss of US$73 million, equalling a loss of $0.63 per share for the second quarter ended June 30. Although ATTL said that Latin America's overall economic woes and currency devaluations in Brazil and Chile put a damper on results, the company still beat a Thomson Financial/First Call survey of analysts who predicted a loss of $0.60 per share.

The second quarter net loss was much greater than the company's pro forma net loss of $34 million for the second quarter of 2000, however, which resulted in a loss per share of $0.29.

Still, ATTL's consolidated revenue increased 63.1 percent in the second quarter over last year to $33.6 million. This was driven by a leap in Internet and data services revenue, which increased 67.5 percent in the second quarter over the year-ago period to $20.5 million.

Sequentially, however, the company posted only a 6.2 percent growth in consolidated revenue over the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the loss in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) totalled $28.7 million, a 6.9 percent greater loss than in the last quarter. The pro forma loss in EBITDA for the second quarter of 2000 was $7.7 million.

For the full year, the company said that it is sticking to its previously stated revenue guideline of between $152 million [m] and $160 million [m], with EBITDA in the range of negative 40 percent to negative 55 percent of total 2001 revenue. These predictions assume stable local currencies in the countries where ATTL operates, the company said.

The company's stock (ATTL) was down 2.59 percent in morning trading to $3.38 following the second quarter announcement.

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