Growth in the business channel helped Windstream offset some declines in the third quarter.
Overall, the company's profit was $30.6 million, down from $46.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Total revenue slipped from $1.55 billion a year ago to $1.5 billion in Q3 2013 – a drop of 3 percent.
Business-services revenue was $916 million, up 1 percent year over year. Windstream's number of enterprise customers was up 6 percent.
"Growth in business and consumer broadband revenues, combined with declining capital expenditures and lower cash interest expense, produced strong free cash flow during the quarter," said Jeff Gardner, president and CEO. "We are confident that our strategy to transform Windstream into an enterprise-focused company enhances our growth opportunities and positions us for continued success. Windstream generates substantial free cash flow which supports our dividend. As we look forward, we will remain focused on creating and returning value to our shareholders."
Consumer-service revenues were $324 million, a drop of 3 percent from the same period a year ago. Wholesale revenues in the third quarter were $148 million, a decline of 19 percent from Q3 2013 due to lower intrastate access rates as part of intercarrier compensation reform implemented in July 2012, and fewer minutes of use.
Total access lines – which include high-speed Internet, digital TV and voice lines – fell nearly 5 percent. Voice lines, as one might expect, took the biggest hit, at 6 percent.
The company's stock price was down 5 percent, to $8.22, as of 3:33 p.m. ET on Thursday.
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