Seeing Cracks In The Baby Bells

Cheap long distance and lots of new players may spell trouble

In rapid succession, on Jan. 24 and 25, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, and SBC Communications reported fourth-quarter earnings that met or exceeded Wall Street's expectations. Net income in the fourth quarter edged up 8% for SBC, Bell Atlantic's jumped 12%, and BellSouth's soared 21% over 1998 levels.

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