- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2002

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Metrocall, the nation's second-largest independent paging company, will likely file for bankruptcy by the end of the month and lay off 850 of its 3,000 employees, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Metrocall, based in Alexandria, blamed its financial woes on the stagnant market for traditional paging services and a lack of growth in advanced, two-way paging subscribers.
Company spokesman Tim Dietz declined to comment beyond confirming the information filed in Friday's annual report.
The company has about 5.4 million subscribers, down from a high of 6.3 million in June 2001. Only 231,400 of those are getting the pricier, advanced two-way paging systems.
Metrocall's two largest competitors, industry-leading Arch Wireless and No. 3 TSR Wireless, already have filed for bankruptcy.
The company plans to continue operations during Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, which it contemplates filing on or about April 30, according to Friday's SEC filing.
At the end of last year, Metrocall listed $922 million in liabilities and $203.5 million in assets. The work force reduction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The company's stock is trading at 5 cents a share in over-the-counter trading.


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