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Windstream returns to profit in Q4

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 1:16pm
The Associated Press

Windstream on Tuesday posted fourth-quarter net income of $10.1 million, reversing a year-ago loss, as the company grew its broadband business.

Windstream, which was spun off from Alltel in 2006 as a landline phone company, has been transforming its business to provide more lucrative broadband and data services. The company said Tuesday that 70 percent of its revenue now comes from broadband, inching up from 69 percent in the third quarter.

Per-share profit in the October-December period came to 2 cents per share and compared with a loss of $34.7 million, or 7 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before.

Excluding charges related to Windstream's pension plan and integrating its December 2011 acquisition of broadband services provider Paetec, profit was 11 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet predicted profit of 13 cents per share.

The company said the number of enterprise customers grew 6 percent from a year ago. Business services revenue grew 3 percent, and consumer broadband revenue grew 5 percent.

Revenue jumped 28 percent to $1.54 billion from $1.21 billion, with a big boost coming from the Paetec deal. When compared with the combined sales for Paetec and Windstream in the October-December period in 2011, revenue actually fell 2 percent. Analysts expected $1.55 billion in revenue.

For all of 2012, Windstream, based in Little Rock, Ark., earned $168 million, or 28 cents per share, down from $169.5 million, or 32 cents per share, in 2011. Revenue rose to $6.16 billion from $4.28 billion.

For 2013, the company estimated that revenue would range from a 2 percent drop to a 1 percent gain, or about $6.04 billion to $6.22 billion. Analysts expect $6.17 billion.

Windstream shares fell 17 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $8.76 in morning trading.

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