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Archive for Wednesday, August 1, 2001

Business briefcase for Wednesday

August 1, 2001

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extension for installation

Sprint PCS is asking for more time to install technology that will allow public safety officials to locate wireless telephone users who call 911.

Sprint PCS joins a long list of industry players, including Verizon, AT&T, Cingular and Nextel, to request a waiver from the Oct. 1 Federal Communications Commission deadline.

Sprint PCS, based in Kansas City, Mo., and a division of long-distance phone company Sprint, filed for the extension Monday.

Sprint PCS spokesman Dan Wilinsky said the nation's fourth largest wireless telephone company is unable to meet the deadline because of the complexity of installing the technology.

EARNINGS

Slow demand drives

Verizon to lower forecast

Verizon Communications Inc. reported a $1 billion loss for the second quarter and lowered its earnings forecast for the full year due to slowing demand for its products.

The New York-based telecommunications giant said Tuesday that it had a net loss of 38 cents per share, compared with a gain of $4.9 billion, or $1.79 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding a one-time charge of $2.9 billion to cover investment losses and $162 million in merger-related costs, Verizon reported an operating profit of $2.1 billion, or 77 cents a share, meeting the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call.

Adjusting last year's second quarter earnings to exclude one-time gains of more than $3 billion, Verizon's operating profit was $1.97 billion, or 72 cents per share.

INTERNET

Priceline.com beats

analysts expectations

Name-your-own price Internet company Priceline.com Inc. recorded its first quarterly profit, posting second-quarter earnings of $2.8 million.

Defying the recent collapse of Internet company earnings and profits, Priceline.com reported 1 cent per share, compared with a net loss in the same quarter last year of $11.7 million, or 7 cents per share.

Excluding one-time items, Priceline earned $11.7 million, or 5 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call were expecting 1 cent per share.

Revenues rose 4 percent to $364.8 million, compared with revenues of $352.1 million in the same period last year.

ACQUISITION

Nebraska company

buys online brokerage

Ameritrade Holding Corp. will acquire rival National Discount Brokers Corp.'s online brokerage for $154 million in stock.

Ameritrade, an Omaha, Neb.-based online discount broker, said Tuesday that the purchase of NBD.com would add 316,000 accounts to its current 1.5 million and bring in approximately $67 million in revenue.

The new company expected to handle about 9,000 trades per day, an 8 percent increase for Ameritrade.

If approved by government regulators, the acquisition is expected to close this fall. Between 21 million to 32 million shares are expected to be issued, depending on the market price of Ameritrade common stock prior to the closing.

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