Debt Retirement, Severance Costs Eat into CenturyLink’s Profit

Severance costs and other one-time expenses drove down CenturyLink’s bottom line in the second quarter, yet America’s third-largest fixed telecom carrier still finished in the black.

CenturyLink posted a profit of $74 million, or diluted earnings per share of 12 cents. Those results compared to net income of $115 million and diluted EPS of 19 cents in the second quarter of 2011.

The company explained its results reflect losses on the early retirement of debt, severance, integration and retention costs related to its acquisitions of Savvis and Qwest Communications International plus another severance item in connection with initiatives to reduce its expenses.

Thanks partly to its acquisition of Savvis more than a year ago, revenues rose to $4.61 billion from $4.41 billion in the year-ago quarter.

CenturyLink, based in Monroe, La., noted Wednesday it remains on track to end the year with $465 million in annual synergies stemming from its 2011 acquisition of Qwest.

In its earnings announcement, the company slightly raised the low end of its annual guidance for revenues (18.3 billion – $18.4 billion, up from $18.2 billion to $18.4 billion) and adjusted diluted EPS ($2.45 to $2.55, up from $2.35 to $2.55). 

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