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Reversing a boom trend among the Bell operators in the past year, BellSouth Corp. issued earnings today that included a noticeable drop in digital subscriber line additions.

BellSouth reported 124,000 new subscribers to its DSL services, a decline compared to the same quarter last year. The Bell operator blames changes in promotional efforts in the quarter and seasonal slowing. In all, BellSouth now serves some 2.4 million DSL customers.

Nevertheless, the DSL business did serve to offset continued declines in access lines and boosted network data revenue to $1.17 billion, a 4.5 percent upswing compared to the second quarter of 2004.

BellSouth also added 80,000 new subscribers to its satellite TV service offered in partnership with DirecTV Inc. The joint service now reaches 394,000 customers.

Overall, the company's earnings per share rose to 43 cents, compared to 37 cents in the first quarter but down from the 51 cents per share logged in the second quarter 2004. Revenue came in at $8.52 billion, a 2.6-percent increase compared to the first quarter and a healthy jump compared to the $6.71 billion gathered in the second quarter 2004. But normalized net income dropped $89 million year-over-year to $849 million, the result of dwindling voice revenue, higher retiree medical expenses and acquisition costs related to the Cingular Wireless merger with AT&T Wireless.

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