AT&T; Gets More Buyout Takers Than Expected

From Bloomberg News

AT&T; Corp. said its early-retirement offer has been accepted by 15,300 managers, or about 50% more than it had first expected.

The offer was accepted by 25% of the company's 62,000 managers, said Burke Stinson, a spokesman for the nation's largest long-distance company. The company first estimated 10,000 to 11,000 managers would take the offer when it was unveiled in January.

Two weeks ago, it boosted that forecast to 14,000 and said it will take a larger-than-expected pretax charge of more than $1.2 billion in the second quarter.

Since even more managers will take the package, Stinson said the charge will increase, although he couldn't be more specific. AT&T; shares fell $2.63 to close at $60.31 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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