New York--SBC Communications Inc. on Monday said it would eliminate thousands of employees and cut capital spending by about 20% next year after reporting third-quarter earnings a penny below estimates. Excluding extraordinary items, profits for the three months ending Sept. 30 were $1.99 billion, or 59 cents per share, up from $1.96 billion, or 57 cents per share, for the same period a year earlier. Analysts had predicted earnings of 60 cents a share. Third-quarter revenues were $13.5 billion, compared with $13.4 billion a year earlier. SBC also said it would slow its rollout of broadband digital subscriber line (DSL) networks, primarily because of regulatory hurdles in the U.S. "Despite the passage of the Telecom Act of 1996, SBC today is in many respects more heavily regulated than ever," said Edward Whiteacre, SBC chairman-CEO.