Editor’s note: Following are five charts ranking major telecommunications carriers according to revenues, net income, percentage change in revenue from 1995 to 1996, percentage change in net income from 1995 to 1996 and two-year total return on investment to shareholders.

Nordby International Inc. of Boulder, Colo., compiled the information for these charts. Nordby supplied data using companies listed on RCR’s StockWatch.

Data for all of the companies was compiled using total figures, although some companies derive only a portion of their revenues from wireless operations.

Next week, RCR will list revenue information for wireless vendors.

This feature is not intended to be an endorsement for any of the companies listed.

NEW YORK-AT&T Corp. still topped the revenue and net income charts among the major carriers in 1996 even though it has spun off two divisions into stand-alone companies, including Lucent Technologies Inc. British Telecom again placed second in both categories.

AT&T’s revenues dropped year-to-year to $52.18 billion, down from $78.59 billion in 1995, but its net income soared to $5.61 billion from $4.15 billion. British Telecom’s revenues rose to $22.1 billion from $21.2 billion, while its net income increased to just more than $3 billion from $2.8 billion the prior year.

While AT&T and BT held steady in terms of these key rankings, those major players listed just below the top twosome in revenues and net income showed a marked shift in some cases. BellSouth Corp. dropped a notch to third place in the revenues status among carriers, but moved up dramatically to a third place spot in net income last year. GTE Corp. and Ameritech Corp. also increased their status significantly in terms of both benchmarks.

Two merger partners this year-Bell Atlantic Corp. and Nynex Corp.-lost some steam during 1996 compared with 1995. Nynex saw its revenues decline slightly to $13.45 billion from $13.48 billion, and concomitantly dropped to eighth place from fifth place among major carriers in this category. However, it moved up several notches among telecommunications companies in the net income category during 1996 although its net income declined to $1.35 billion from $1.89 billion.

Bell Atlantic dropped to ninth from fifth place among carriers in terms of revenues on a drop to $13.1 billion from $13.8 billion.

It also dropped to seventh place from the number three spot in the net income ranking, reporting $1.74 billion, compared with $1.78 billion in 1995.

A star performer in terms of revenue growth, 1995 to 1996, was PriCellular Corp., a cellular pure play that wasn’t even among the major players in any category RCR published last year. PriCellular reported a percentage change in revenues of more than 171 percent. It also ranked right below another stellar performer, WinStar Communications Inc., in terms of two-year total return, also in the 131 percent range.

As to profit growth, Palmer Wireless Inc. and Rural Cellular Corp. were last year’s leaders, reporting percentage changes in net income of nearly 390 percent and just more than 340 percent, respectively.

But those impressive performances pale next to the 1995 leader in this category, United States Cellular Corp., which experienced a percentage change in net income approaching 2,000 percent. By contrast, for 1996, United States Cellular reported a percentage change in net income of about 30 percent.


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