MCI Consumer Sales Continue Decline

MCI Inc., the phone company whos at the center of a bidding war between Qwest Communications International Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., on Friday posted an annual net loss of $3.89 billion and said it expected revenue this year to decline by 10 percent to 14 percent.

Annual revenue at MCI dropped 15 percent to $20.7 billion.

The Ashburn, Va., company posted revenue in the fourth quarter of $5 billion, a fall of 10 percent year-over-year.

Its mass markets division, which includes consumers and very small businesses, generated $1.2 billion in revenue, a 21 percent year-over-year drop. MCI attributed the losses to the impact of do-not-call regulations, reduced advertising and heavy competition from the regional Bells, which include the two companies seeking to acquire MCI: Qwest and Verizon.

Although Qwest yesterday submitted a revised $8 billion bid for MCI, MCI President and CEO Michael Capellas said on a conference call today that Verizon is the right partner to deliver long-term shareholder value, The Associated Press reported.

Still, MCI said in a statement released Thursday: MCIs Board will conduct a thorough review of the Qwest offer, as it has with all previous offers.

Verizon, the biggest U.S. phone company, announced plans last week to acquire MCI in a deal valued at $6.75 billion.

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