Windstream Profit Falls 69%, But Key Business Services Rise

Windstream Communications saw profit in the first quarter fall almost 70 percent from a year ago, the company said in its quarterly earnings report, released Thursday.

Profit was $16 million, down from $52 million in Q1 2013. Total revenue was $1.46 billion, which was down only about 2 percent from the same period a year ago.

Business service revenue – excluding carrier service revenue – was $748 million, which the company said was largely flat year over year. Data and integrated services grew 3 percent compared to the first quarter of last year, to $414 million, thanks in part to sales of IP-based solutions and next-generation data. Data center and managed-services revenues were particularly promising, totaling $30 million, up 23 percent from a year ago.

Enterprise customer locations grew 3 percent from the same period a year ago, and average revenue per business customer increased 8 percent year over year. The decommissioning of legacy services brought carrier revenue down 3 percent, but the decline was partially offset by growth in fiber-to-the-tower revenue.

Consumer broadband service revenue was $120 million, up 2 percent. Broadband subscriber adds were flat, but that beats the losses that Windstream had suffered in the previous six quarters. Overall consumer service revenue was down 4 percent from a year ago, to $313 million.

Wholesale revenue was $142 million, a decrease of 7 percent from the same period a year ago primarily due to a decline in switched-access revenue from lower intrastate access rates and fewer minutes of use, Windstream said.

“Total revenue trends improved both year-over-year and sequentially as wholesale pressures began to abate,” said Jeff Gardner, Windstream president and CEO. “We are very focused on improving business revenue trends and are taking many proactive steps to accelerate sales and strengthen our competitive position. In addition, we are investing in both the business and consumer network to drive growth opportunities and improve the customer experience.”

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