Although operating revenue dipped only 3 percent, Qwest’s fourth-quarter profit dropped almost by half, from $366 million in the year-ago Q4 to $185 million in the quarter just ended.
For the full year, net income was $681 million, compared with $2.9 billion in 2007. The company said it let go of 1,700 employees during the quarter.
Qwest said it was damaged by ongoing losses of wireline customers; access lines were down more than 10 percent year-over-year. The company is compensating somewhat with success in IP-based data services.
Qwest touted continued broadband subscriber growth of 54,000 and video additions of 37,000, through the company’s relationship with DirecTV.
On a sequential quarter basis, Qwest grew from 2.79 million broadband customers to 2.84 million. Video subs grew from 761,000 to 798,000. During the quarter, the company migrated the last of its wireless subscribers to wireless partner Verizon’s network; Qwest’s wireless customers dropped from 772,000 to 717,000.
The company said its fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) coverage reaches 1.9 million potential customers.