MCI reports 13 percent rise in net income in 3rd quarter


WASHINGTON -- MCI Communications Corp. reported third-quarter net income rose 13 percent, bolstered by nearly 15 percent growth in communications traffic.

The No. 2 long-distance provider earned $174 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with $154 million, or 29 cents, in the year-ago period.

MCI's latest earnings were trimmed by a charge of $18 million, or 3 cents, to reflect tax law changes.

Revenue rose 14 percent to $3.05 billion from $2.68 billion. The growth in communications traffic was the highest quarterly gain in more than a year.

"They're doing exceptionally well," said Blake Bath, analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. "Their growth is outpacing the competition by a wide margin."

MCI closed yesterday at $28.50 a share,, up 62.5 cents.

The shares set a 52-week high of $29.875 on July 22 and low of $16.8125 last Nov. 5.

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