AT&T Corp. returned to profitability for the third quarter, earning $520 million in what might be the final quarter before the iconic telephone company is acquired by former subsidiary SBC Communications Inc.
The net profit reported Friday amounted to 64 cents per share for the three months ended Sept. 30. The results included a $92 million expense relating to investments in aircraft leases with airlines that have filed for bankruptcy, as well as $20 million in expenses for the SBC deal and a $41 million pretax benefit.
In the third quarter of 2004, AT&T lost $7.15 billion, or $8.99 per share, as the company wrote down the book value of its national telecommunications network by $11.4 billion following a decision to retreat from the consumer telephone business. Excluding that expense, other restructuring charges and one-time tax benefits, it would have earned $262 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago.
Third-quarter revenue fell 13.3 percent to $6.62 billion, down from $7.64 billion in the year-ago period, as the long-distance calling and data businesses continued to shrink, AT&T said.
Revenue from business services accounted for $5.1 billion of the total, and consumer services generated $1.5 billion.