AT&T Corp is showing remarkable confidence for a company in decline with third quarter profits down 14.8% to $1.43bn. AT&T is executing on the critical priorities we set for our business, said outgoing chairman Robert Allen, We’re on track and focused on investing in the future while driving costs out of our core business. The low-water mark in our results is behind us, and we’re on the right trajectory to future success. With an explosion in telecommunications underway, the company’s revenue from continuing operations rose by just one per cent to $13.38bn. The company says the rise in revenues was driven by increases in growth initiatives, business long distance services and wireless services. But it concedes the increases were partially offset by a decline in consumer long distance services revenue primarily driven by the increased use of free minutes from promotional purposes and lower pricing as the company flowed through lower access charges to its customers. AT&T also announced plans to sell two successful but non-strategic businesses – AT&T Universal Card Services and AT&T Solutions Customer Care which are both based in Jacksonville, Florida. The company expects the sales to be completed by the middle of next year. Earnings per share were down from $0.84 to $0.71 in the quarter and the company puts this down to an increase in operating expenses due to higher levels of network and other communications services expenses which it blames primarily on FCC-mandated increases in payphone compensation fees.
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