MCI WorldCom Inc. said yesterday that net income nearly tripled, to $1.08 billion (55 cents a share), for the third quarter of 1999. The company cited cost savings from the merger of MCI Communications Corp. and WorldCom Inc. as a primary factor for the increase.

Revenue for the quarter was $9.2 billion, compared with $7.7 billion a year ago.

In this quarter, Clinton, Miss.-based MCI WorldCom experienced a frame relay outage and therefore extended $29 million in service credits, which hurt revenue. Nontraditional telecommunications services, such as Internet and data, now make up almost 40 percent of the company's revenue.

* Crown Central Petroleum Corp. of Baltimore reported a net loss of $6 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with earnings of $3.1 million (31 cents) in the same period in 1998. The company said that its earnings were negatively affected by rising crude oil prices because of its inventory accounting method.

The Baltimore-based oil refining and marketing company recorded revenue of $360 million during the third quarter, compared with revenue of $313 million for the same three months in 1998.

During the first nine months of 1999, Crown had a net loss of $28.9 million, compared with a net loss of $12.8 million for the first nine months of 1998. The company reported revenue of $866.5 million during the first nine months of 1999, compared with revenue of $979.3 million in the first three quarters of 1998.

* E.spire Communications Inc. of Annapolis Junction, Md., reported that it lost $70 million during the third quarter, compared with a loss of $38.8 million during the third quarter of 1998.

Revenue rose 48.5 percent, to $67.5 million, from $45.5 million.

For the nine-month period that ended Sept. 30, E.spire lost $186.6 million, compared with a loss of $103.3 million during the same period a year earlier.

Revenue for the nine-month period rose 73.8 percent, to $188.9 million, from $108.7 million.

E.spire operates fiber-optic networks. It offers services such as local and long-distance communications and Internet access.

The company said its third-quarter results included a charge of $8 million mainly related to the elimination of its local resale business. E.spire said its third-quarter revenue gains included a near doubling of revenue from its fiber-optic construction subsidiary.

* Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. of Baltimore said it lost $9.17 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with net income of $12.95 million (26 cents a share) for the same period in 1998.

The loss includes the impact of planned sale of Pace, its corporate training business.

Total revenue for the quarter rose 28 percent, to $136.7 million, from $106.5 million in the same quarter last year.

For the first nine months of the year, Sylvan earned $7.7 million (14 cents) on revenue of $402.2 million, compared with earnings of $15.7 million on revenue of $284.6 million.

* Radio One Inc. of Lanham reported net income of $1.9 million (11 cents a share) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $504,000 (5 cents) in the same quarter of last year.

Net broadcast revenue for the quarter increased 74.6 percen, to $24.1 million, from $13.8 million in the corresponding quarter of 1998.

The company lost $1.8 million in the first nine months of the year on net broadcast revenue of $65 million, compared with a $68,000 loss on revenue of $38 million in 1998.