WILLIAMS Communications' loss grows, sales climb

Thursday, November 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Williams Communications Group's loss grew 81 percent in the third quarter, even as the Tulsa-based telephone and data services provider reported record revenue Thursday.

Williams Communications' net loss increased to $272.7 million, or 55 cents per share, compared with $150.5 million, or 32 cents per share, a year ago. Revenues increased 42 percent to $297.8 million.

But operating expenses grew from $330.4 million to $666.1 million, with expenses for amortization and depreciation jumping from $47 million to $146.6 million.

Williams Communications operates a 33,000-mile nationwide fiber-optic network that transports data, Internet, video and voice for telecommunications carriers, utilities and television networks.

In April, the company completed its spinoff from Williams Cos., an energy company.

The growth in Williams Communications' revenue came primarily through its network services unit, which saw a 52 percent increase in revenues to $271.1 million.

Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $22.6 million in the third quarter, including a $45.1 million gain from the sale of the company's investment in Algar Telecom Leste.

The company also announced a 20-year telecommunications agreement with The Boeing Co. The transaction has a gross value estimated at $267 million, according to Williams.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

Williams also signed an asset purchase agreement to obtain the fiber-optic network, intellectual property, and Internet protocol capabilities of CoreExpress, the first company to guarantee data communications across multiple Internet Service Providers. Financial terms also were not disclosed.