Business Customers Help Boost CenturyLink’s Profit

**Editor’s Note:

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CenturyLink reported strong profits in its quarterly earnings report released on Wednesday, showing net income of $233 million compared to $109 million in the year-ago quarter, just barely missing analysts’ estimates.

Operating expenses fell from $4.12 billion in Q4 2011 to $3.92 billion last quarter. Operating revenues fell from $4.65 billion to $4.5 billion over the same time period, with a decline in legacy services taking a toll.

Business services the cloud, in particular proved to play a significant role in the company’s financial results.

“We realized solid strategic data and hosting revenue growth during 2012 driven by strong demand from our business customers for high bandwidth data services, colocation and managed services, including cloud,” said Glen F. Post III, CEO and president of CenturyLink. “The December commercial launch of our new savvisdirect product, which meets the increasing demand for a simplified approach to cloud computing, reflects the combined strength of our strategic asset portfolio and employee innovation.”

CenturyLink added 41,000 high-speed Internet customers in Q4, giving the company a total of 5.85 million at the end of the year. The Monroe, La.-based company added more than 10,000 subscribers for Prism TV as well, ending the quarter with nearly 115,000 subscribers for the service.

The company is still in the process of integrating its acquisitions of Qwest and Savvis, which it said incurred pre-tax integration, severance and retention costs of $14 million ($9 million after tax).

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