(NYSE: BLS) beat Wall Street estimates by a penny with first-quarter earnings of 54 cents a share.
The telecommunications provider attributed much of its growth in revenues to a strong quarterly performance by Cingular and an increase in broadband customers. Cingular is jointly owned by BellSouth and AT&T.
BellSouth reported revenues of $8.7 billion, up 4.5 percent from one year ago, with net income of $983 million.
were announced before the markets opened Thursday.
a $354 million quarterly profit compared to a $240 million loss for the same quarter in 2005. Cingular added 1.7 million customers, giving it 55.8 million subscribers.
BellSouth, which plans to merge with AT&T later this year, added 263,000 broadband (digital subscriber line) customers in the quarter, increasing its total to more than 3.1 million. It also added 179,000 long distance customers, giving the company 7.4 million subscribers.
Also, 105,000 additional users signed up for DirecTV satellite service, giving it 628,000 customers.
Total access lines dropped, however, by 238,000 to 19.8 million. An increase in retail business lines by 21,000 was offset by a drop in 120,000 residential lines and a decrease of 137,000 lines sold via wholesalers.
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