SureWest offset its rapidly shrinking phone business with revenue growth in broadband (up 9 percent) to keep revenue more or less flat in its first quarter of 2010, compared with its first quarter of 2009.

Overall Q1 profit was down nearly 80 percent from last year, however, from $2.5 billion in 2009 to $527 million in 2010.

The company continued to expand into new businesses, which it expects to buoy its finances as it moves forward.

Steve Oldham, SureWest's president and CEO, said: "In the Sacramento market, we rolled out our exciting new Advanced Digital TV product, which is powered by Microsoft Mediaroom. After performance and reliability tests delivered glowing returns from our initial customers, we initiated an aggressive sales and marketing campaign mid-quarter that provided very positive results for subscriber and RGU growth during March and April.

“Our wireless carrier backhaul service sets the stage for future high-margin revenue growth in the business segment, capitalizing on the increasing demand for wireless data,” Oldham continued. “We have secured agreements with two national wireless carriers to provide wireless backhaul over our high-capacity fiber-optic network to nearly 200 towers, and we continue discussions to expand this business.”

Capital expenditures totaled $12.5 million for the first quarter, a decrease of $5.8 million year-over-year, SureWest said. The company is projecting 2010 capital expenditures of $55 million to $60 million, approximately two-thirds of which is scheduled for residential and business success-based investment. The 2010 capital plan is aimed at obtaining market share through increased subscriber and RGU penetration.

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