Starting with the results for the latest quarter, the phone company will instead recognize charges due to changes in interest rates and asset values once a year, in the fourth quarter. That will result in a pretax charge US$2.7 billion for last year's fourth quarter, for which AT&T is due to report results on Jan. 27. AT&T is also adjusting results for previous quarters, as if the accounting change had been in place then. For example, the result for the fourth quarter of 2008 is now a loss of US$13.3 billion, or $2.25 per share, rather than the originally reported profit of $2.40 billion, or 41 cents per share.

If you thought corporate earnings couldn't get any more meaningless... Makes you wanna go out and buy stocks, huh?

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