Bell Atlantic Corp blamed the Asian crisis for massive charges that may outstrip earnings, forcing the telecomms giant to write a third quarter loss.
Analysts expected Bell to earn around 68 cents a share, but the company warned yesterday that after-tax charges will amount to $1.1 billion, or 70 cents a share.
Almost 50 percent of the charges, $545 million, will cover write downs at TelecomAsia and Excelcomindo, Bell companies in Thailand and Indonesia.
Frederic Salerno, Bell Atlantic's chief financial officer, said that the companies were viewed as long-term opportunities and Bell remains committed to both.
Bell acquired Nynex Corp last year and it is taking an additional $500 million charge to complete a voluntary redundancy programme started at Nynex 1994. A further $55 million covers other factors arising from the merger of operations.
Despite the third quarter hit, Salerno said that Bell Atlantic expects to meet its year-end targets.
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