ATLANTA … AirGate PCS (OTCBB: PCSA), a PCS affiliate of Sprint, reported a loss of $21 million, or 81 cents a share, on $104.4 million in its second quarter, ended March 31. Those results compare with a $301.9 million loss, or $11.71 a share, on $114.7 million in revenue for the same period a year ago.

The 2002 second-quarter results include a $261.2 million write-off related to AirGate’s acquisition of iPCS, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.

For the most recent six-month period, AirGate lost $68.7 million, or $2.65 a share, on $237.5 million in revenue. That compares with a loss of $331.6 million, or $15.29 a share, on $196.4 million in the first half of fiscal 2002.

“AirGate PCS has continued to make measurable progress with our business plan in spite of the ongoing challenges in the wireless industry,” President and Chief Executive Thomas M. Dougherty said in a statement. “Notably, we reached the important objective of significantly improving net loss and EBITDA, and more importantly, meeting all of the covenants of our credit facility for stand-alone AirGate PCS.

“We are also realizing the benefits of our recent initiatives to improve the quality of our subscriber base,” he said. “As a result of our ‘smart-growth’ strategy, over 60 percent of our gross additions were prime subscribers, meeting our goal to increase the percentage of higher-value prime credit quality customers while improving our operating cash flow.”

AirGate PCS: