CenturyLink's Q2 net income triples on Embarq deal

Wed, 08/04/2010 - 8:15am
The Associated Press

MONROE, La. (AP) – CenturyLink, the phone company that is buying Qwest, on Wednesday said its profit tripled in the second quarter, and the company raised its earnings forecast for the rest of the year.

CenturyLink, which was called CenturyTel until May, said its net income soared to $239.1 million, or 79 cents per share, in the April-to-June period, from $69.3 million, or 68 cents per share, a year ago. Most of the increase was due to the acquisition of Embarq last year, which tripled the company's size.

Excluding costs incurred in the acquisition of Embarq and the pending deal to buy Qwest, earnings were 88 cents per share, beating the average forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, at 85 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $1.77 billion from $634.5 million a year ago, matching Wall Street forecasts.

In April, Monroe-based CenturyLink agreed to buy larger phone company Qwest Communications International for stock now worth about $10.5 billion. If approved by regulators, the deal would close next year.

Comparing CenturyLink's results to the combined results of Embarq and CenturyLink a year ago, income from continuing operations fell 7.5 percent and revenue fell 7 percent as customers continued to cancel their phone lines and go wireless.

CenturyLink raised its financial forecast for the year, saying operating expenses were lower than expected. It said it now expects earnings of $3.30 to $3.40 per share, a range 10 cents higher than the previous estimate. Analysts had been expecting $3.37 per share.

In morning trading, CenturyLink shares rose 20 cents to $36.07.

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