Southwestern Bell Opens $26 Million Call Center
St. Louis facility to employ 1,500 residents by the new millennium.
St. Louis, Missouri, April 24, 1998
SBC is already realizing benefits of its merger with Pacific Telesis as its core businesses continue strong growth and performance, Edward E. Whitacre Jr., chairman and chief executive, told shareowners at the corporation's annual meeting today.
"We created a great deal of momentum with our Pacific Telesis merger, and we're continuing that trend this year," Whitacre said. "We are well-positioned in growing markets, specifically California and Texas -- two of the fastest growing states -- and have grown to nearly 34 million access lines, 5.6 million wireless subscribers and revenues of more than $25 billion. By sharing marketing expertise throughout our company, we're also increasing sales of vertical services like Caller ID, a key growth opportunity in California.
"We continue to stay very focused on our business and on turning opportunities into long-term value for our shareowners."
In reviewing the company's performance since the last annual meeting, Whitacre highlighted SBC's 12-month total return to shareowners of more than 68 percent as well as SBC' s Board of Director's approving a two-for-one stock split and a dividend increase of 4.5 percent.
SBC is the only former Bell company that has increased both earnings and dividends every year since divestiture in 1984.
SBC's strong first quarter results reflect outstanding performance in many business areas, including:
Whitacre noted that demand for access lines, especially in Texas and California, continues to grow as more people use the Internet and work from home. He also noted that SBC's PCS offerings in California and Nevada that were launched last year continue to grow, and while the company faces increased competition in its traditional wireless markets, SBC is maintaining its margins.
Whitacre also detailed the growth opportunities made possible by SBC's pending merger with Southern New England Telecommunications (S.N.E.T.). He told shareowners that S.N.E.T. has valuable long-distance expertise, solid wireless operations that complement SBC's Boston and upstate New York properties and more than 2 million access lines.
At the meeting, shareowners overwhelmingly re-elected six SBC board members to three-year terms: August A. Busch, III, Royce S. Caldwell, Herman E. Gallegos, Jess T. Hay, Bobby R. Inman and S. Donley Ritchey. A minimum of 97 percent of votes were cast for each nominee.
In other business, by a 98 percent vote, shareowners ratified the appointment of Ernst & Young LLP as SBC's independent auditor. In addition, shareowners approved the amendment of Article Five of SBC's restated certificate of incorporation to increase the number of authorized shares of common stock. In other matters, shareowners overwhelmingly defeated two shareowner proposals regarding prior shareowner approval of political contributions and elimination of pensions for certain directors.
SBC Communications Inc. is a global leader in the telecommunications industry, with nearly 34 million access lines and 5.6 million wireless customers across the United States, as well as investments in telecommunications businesses in 10 countries. Under the Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, Nevada Bell and Cellular One brands, SBC, through its subsidiaries, offers a wide range of innovative services, including local and long-distance telephone service, wireless communications, paging, Internet access, and messaging, as well as telecommunications equipment, and directory advertising and publishing. SBC (www.sbc.com) has more than 118,000 employees and reported 1997 revenues of $25 billion. SBC's equity market value of $80 billion (as of March 31, 1998) ranks it as one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world.