LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Windstream Corp., which provides traditional phone service and broadband, said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit tumbled 86 percent on a loss related to the sale of a business, restructuring charges and comparison to year-ago results boosted by a one-time gain.
Windstream earned $81.2 million, or 19 cents per share, in the October-December period, compared with $583.6 million, or $1.25 per share, a year ago.
The latest results included a $10 million loss from discontinued operations related to a tax gain stemming from the sale of its wireless properties in North Carolina, $4 million in severance costs related to job cuts and a non-cash adjustment to deferred taxes of $14 million.
Windstream said those items reduced earnings by a combined 6 cents per share.
The fourth-quarter 2007 results were boosted by a tax-free gain of about $451 million related to the sale of the company's directory publishing business.
Revenue fell 4.8 percent to $777.5 million from $816.7 million in the year-ago period.
Excluding the charges, Windstream's adjusted profit from continuing operations of 25 cents per share matched Wall Street predictions. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected slightly higher revenue of $780.9 million, however.
Windstream said it added 16,000 new high-speed Internet customers during the quarter, bringing its total to about 979,000. The 2008 total represents about a 12 percent increase from the same time the previous year.
The company said it added 23,000 digital TV subscribers during the latest quarter, increasing its total customer base to 274,000. Total access lines fell by about 48,000, or 5.2 percent, to 3.04 million.
For the full year, Windstream earned $412.7 million, or 93 cents per share, compared with $917.1 million, or $1.94 per share, in 2007. Revenue slipped to $3.17 billion from $3.25 billion in 2007.
The company also projected 2009 revenue of $3.05 billion to $3.17 billion. Analysts, on average, expect revenue of $3.11 billion.