CenturyLink: Qwest Merger To Yield Greater Savings

CenturyLink Inc. on Wednesday said it expects to achieve greater savings than previously forecast through its 2011 acquisition of Qwest Communications International Inc.

In its first-quarter earnings report, CenturyLink raised its target of annual operating expense synergies from $575 million to $650 million. The telecom provider anticipates achieving those synergies, or merger-related savings, over the next two to four years.

“We now expect to exit 2012 with approximately $465 million in annual run-rate synergies related to the Qwest acquisition,” CenturyLink said.

CenturyLink’s acquisitions last year of Qwest and Savvis Inc. significantly increased its first-quarter operating revenues to $4.61 billion. That figure is up from $1.70 billion in the year-ago quarter and was in line with CenturyLink’s guidance, the company said.

But on a pro forma basis, revenues declined 2.7 percent.

Quarterly net income, year over year, fell from $211 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.69, to $200 million, or diluted EPS of $0.32.

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