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CenturyLink's Q1 defined by digestion

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 8:10am
Brian Santo

CenturyLink added 52,000 DSL customers in its first quarter to end with 2.4 million broadband customers, even as it lost another 13.6 percent of its landline connections.

Results from Qwest, not yet consolidated, suggest the company's second-quarter results might improve.

CenturyLink's net revenue fell from $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2010 to $1.7 billion in Q1 2011, attributed largely to the loss of 223,000 lines, leaving it with 8.6 million.

Net income fell from $253 million reported in the similar period a year ago to $211 million in the just-completed first quarter.

The company reported that it is still in the process of digesting Embarq, switching customers to its own billing and support systems. The company is also in the process of buying Savvis, a cloud computing operation. CenturyLink's upcoming second quarter will be its first with consolidated earnings from its acquisition of Qwest.

Although Qwest results were not consolidated, they were still reported. Revenue was off 4 percent from $2.97 billion in first-quarter 2010 to $2.85 billion in the first quarter of 2011, also due primarily to line loss. Net income was actually up, however, from $200 million a year ago to $220 million.

Glen Post, chief executive officer and president of CenturyLink, said: "CenturyLink's first-quarter results reflect the expected loss of legacy revenues, but also significant positive trends. We achieved continued progress in improving our top-line revenue trend, successfully integrating and operating the Embarq properties, slowing the rate of line loss in our business, and meeting customer demand for high-speed Internet and high-bandwidth services."

Post continued, "I believe the recently completed Qwest transaction and the pending Savvis acquisition significantly enhance CenturyLink's position as a global communications leader and strengthen our ability to drive long-term shareholder value."

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