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Companies taking a hit from pension contributions is a major theme this earnings season....

Companies taking a hit from pension contributions is a major theme this earnings season. AT&T (T) contributed $1B to its pension plan in Q4 and took a $6.3B charge in 2011 related to re-measuring its pension and post-retirement benefits. Verizon (VZ) reported similar issues. The moves highlight the downside of shifting to accounting for their pension plans on a mark-to-market basis.

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