AT&T has been an analysts' favorite for months, and long-distance revenue is topping expectations. So how come Ma Bell's stock is off almost 20% from mid-June? In three letters: PCS. AT&T may bid hundreds of millions for up to 59 new wireless-service licenses, and it could be years before the operations turn a profit. Winners in the FCC's auction, which began Dec. 5, won't be known until January. But already, most bidders' stocks have slumped. "We're just about at the point of greatest uncertainty," says Merrill Lynch analyst Linda Runyon.
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