AT&T; Corp. eked out third-quarter net earnings of $207 million and beat Wall Street expectations Tuesday despite an 8 percent drop in revenue that largely resulted from continuing weakness in the long-distance market.
In the three months that ended Sept. 30, AT&T;'s earnings amounted to 5 cents a share, on revenue of $12 billion.
In the comparable quarter last year, AT&T; posted earnings of $11.3 billion, or $3.13 a share, on revenue of $13 billion, but the profits at the time were hugely inflated by AT&T;'s spinoff of its wireless business. Taking only continuing operations into account, AT&T;'s comparable figure in the year-ago quarter was a loss of 69 cents per share.
Excluding one-time events this quarter, AT&T; said its continuing operations earned 6 cents a share, beating the consensus Wall Street estimate of 5 cents, according to Thomson First Call.