Windstream Posts $32 Million Loss

Partially weighed down by a change to how it recognizes gains and losses for its pension plan, Windstream Corp. on Wednesday reported a loss in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The telecommunications company posted a net loss of $31.9 million or 6 cents per share, on consolidated revenues of $1.2 billion. That’s down from earnings of $57 million or 10 cents per share, on revenues of $981 million in the same period in 2010.

Those latest results included an after-tax non-cash pension charge of roughly $163 million due to previously announced changes to an accounting method concerning its pension plan. Windstream announced last month that it would recognize gains and losses for its pension plan in the year in which they occur rather than amortized over a period of years. In the fourth quarter, Windstream’s bottom line also suffered due to $23 million in an after-tax merger and integration expense and an after-tax loss of about $7 million related to the early extinguishment of debt.

Excluding all those items, Windstream would have posted quarterly earnings per share of 19 cents.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected earnings of 20 cents on revenues of $1.1 billion, MarketWatch reported.

For the year, Windstream reported net income of $172 million, or 33 cents per share, on revenues of $4.3 billion. That compares to a 2010 profit of $313 million, or 66 cents per share, on revenues of $3.7 billion.

On. Dec. 1, 2011, Little Rock, Ark.-based Windstream announced completing the acquisition of PAETEC Holding Corp. in a merger valued at $2.3 billion.

The acquisition strengthened Windstream’s position as a provider of communications services to businesses. Windstream also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers mostly in rural areas.

For the 2012 year, Windstream anticipates total pro forma revenues and sales of $6.180 billion to $6.305 billion.

Shares of Windstream (NASDAQ: WIN) were down 2 percent or 25 cents to $12.22 as of 11:06 ET.

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