updated 4/21/2005 8:35:06 AM ET 2005-04-21T12:35:06

AT&T Corp. earned $529 million in the first quarter as revenues fell 12.2 percent at the long-distance phone company, which agreed to be acquired by SBC Communications Inc. in January.

More than half of the profit, which amounted to 66 cents per share for the January-March period, was the result of a $333 million reduction in depreciation expense following last year’s $11 billion writedown in the book value of AT&T’s assets.

In the same period a year ago, AT&T posted net profits $304 million, or 38 cents per share. Those figures include assorted one-time benefits and charges that collectively boosted the result by $71 million.

First-quarter revenue totaled $7.02 billion, down from $7.99 billion from the same three months last year.

Revenue from business services fell 9.4 percent to $5.3 billion amid the ongoing price wars in the most lucrative segment of the telecommunications industry.

Consumer revenue slid 20 percent to $1.7 billion, reflecting the company’s decision last summer to halt nearly all marketing and retention efforts in traditional local and long-distance services to residential customers.

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