Qwest Boosts Q1 Profits 37%

Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q) raked in 37 percent more profit in 2009’s first quarter than it did a year ago as it cut costs and benefited from a lower tax rate.

The Denver-based carrier netted $206 million in income for the first three months of the year. That’s up from $150 million a year earlier.

Still, sales were down, just as the carrier warned earlier this month they would be. Revenue dropped 7 percent to $3.2 billion; that is just under the $3.24 billion forecast by analysts polled by FactSet Research. The decline partly is due to Qwest’s reseller deal with Verizon Wireless – sales are recorded differently now that Qwest no longer sells mobile service under its own brand.

Qwest was able to pull a profit this quarter because it cut 10 percent of its work force and because the company operated under a lower tax rate – that rate is back to normal levels, executives said on Wednesday.

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