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July 5, 2001: 9:01 a.m. ET
NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Telecom service provider WorldCom Inc. warned Thursday that its 2001 profit in its key business segment will be below the company's previous guidance, although said the division's second-quarter results should be in line with current forecasts.
The company said its WorldCom Group -- which includes its growth Internet, data and international business but not its core consumer long-distance service -- should see consolidated cash earnings per share for the year of $1.05 to $1.10, compared with what the company said is a consensus estimate of $1.20, and the company's earlier guidance of $1.25 to $1.35.
Those earnings projections and guidelines do not compare to the estimates of analysts surveyed by earnings tracker First Call, which has a current forecast of 91 cents a share for the year. Joe Cooper of First Call's research division said that few analysts have started giving separate estimates for WorldCom Group (WCOM: Research, Estimates) and the company's MCI (MCIT: Research, Estimates) unit, which has a its own tracking stock for the company's consumer, small business and wholesale long-distance business.
The company also said WorldCom Group's cash earnings per share excluding currency loss and other one-time items currently are expected to be between 28 and 29 cents, which it said is in line with consensus estimates.
The company also announced a restructuring of its investment in Embratel Participacoes (EMT: Research, Estimates), the Brazilian telecom also known as Embrapar, meaning the company will no longer consolidate Embrapar's operations in its results starting in the second quarter.
Embrapar, the parent company of Embratel, Brazil's nationwide communications provider, was expected to add 4 cents a share to WorldCom Group's results in the quarter.
"Embratel continues to play an important role in WorldCom Group's international growth strategy by extending our ability to offer global customers services throughout the world," said a statement from Bernard Ebbers, CEO of WorldCom. "But continuing to consolidate Embrapar's financial results, even though we only have a 19 percent economic interest, was causing undue confusion in the market."
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