Qwest Cuts, BellSouth Gains


Qwest Communications International Inc. will slash another 2,000 employees
from its ranks as it girds for another tough year.

The Denver-based regional Bell operating company announced Thursday that it
was lowering its guidance for the rest of the year in light of a continued weak
telecommunications economy.

It now expects revenue in the $18 billion range, with the company reaching
cash-flow positive in the second quarter.

It also announced that another 2,000 employees would be cut through attrition
and further layoffs, bringing its work force to 53,000 by Sept. 30.

Fellow RBOC BellSouth Corp., meanwhile, also cut its outlook after posting
steady earnings for the first quarter.

Atlanta-based BellSouth saw net income of $1.16 billion at 61 cents per
share, up from the $891 million posted for the same quarter last year. That was
due in part to the sale of its stake in Dutch telecommunications company Royal
KPN NV and German wireless phone provider E-Plus Service GmbH & Co. KG.
Minus that, profits would have totaled about $1 billion.

It also posted strong digital-subscriber-line growth for the quarter, adding
108,000 new high-speed Internet customers to total 729,000 lines -- a 141
percent growth rate compared with last year.

By the end of the year, BellSouth is estimating that it will have 1.1 million
DSL customers.

Nevertheless, it also lowered its guidance for the remainder of 2002, citing
weakness in the telecommunications markets and slowing demand for traditional
phone service. It is now estimating a mere 1 percent revenue growth for