Qwest Communications International Inc. on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter profit of $194 million, or 10 cents per share, compared to a $528 million loss, or 28 cents per share, a year earlier.
Qwest made headway thanks in part to an increase in Internet subscriptions it added more than 165,000 high-speed lines in the third quarter. However, the regional provider, like its peers, continued to lose wireline phone lines. Demand for traditional phone connections fell 6.4 percent from a year earlier to 13.8 million.
Qwest also has been struggling for several years to lower its debt. It said that number went down $1.1 billion from the fourth quarter of 2005 to $13.4 billion. That reduced debt, combined with improved operating results, helped Qwest generate $594 million of free cash flow in the fourth quarter, or $1.4 billion for the year before one-time items.
Qwest Communications International Inc. www.qwest.com