Dial R For Risk

Since their separation from the old Bell System in 1984, the seven Baby Bell telephone companies have prowled the globe in pursuit of new opportunities. Some, such as BellSouth Corp. and Southwestern Bell Corp., have invested heavily in cellular phone systems outside their home regions. Others, such as U S West Inc., tried their hands at real estate. And all have invested abroad. But for all their efforts, these seven siblings have wound up remarkably close to where they started. Plain-vanilla phone service still produces most of their revenues and profits. It's a good, steady business.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.