BellSouth Posts 224K DSL Gains

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BellSouth Corp. posted record increases in digital-subscriber-line and DirecTV Inc. subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2004, while posting lower earnings due to hurricane- and severance-related expenses.

The company added 224,000 DSL subscribers, compared with 126,000 in the year-earlier period. BellSouth has 2.1 million DSL subscribers, and the company projected that it will end 2005 with at least 2.7 million.

BellSouth added 109,000 DirecTV subscribers in the quarter, giving it more than 200,000 direct-broadcast-satellite-related subscribers.

The company said it continues to evaluate Microsoft Corp.'s Internet-protocol-TV software, but it announced no plans for wire-line video rollouts.

Overall, BellSouth reported $5.15 billion in revenue in the quarter, a 0.8% increase over last year, while income from continuing operations dropped from $836 million last year to $496 million.

The company lost 220,000 access lines in fourth-quarter 2004, but it added 1.8 million Cingular Wireless subscribers.

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