Windstream Reports Year-Over-Year Loss, Revenue Drop in Q1

Windstream on Thursday reported $1.37 billion in total revenue and a $232 million loss for the first quarter of 2016.

That compares to $1.42 billion in revenue and $5 million in profit for the same quarter in 2015. The latest results include a $182 million charge against earnings related to a decrease in the market value of Windstream’s investment holdings of CS&L. Following the spinoff of CS&L in April 2015, Windstream retained about 20 percent equity stake in the real estate investment trust (REIT).

Windstream's Tony ThomasDespite those numbers, Windstream’s CEO is confident about the company’s direction.

“Our first-quarter achievements demonstrate solid progress on our 2016 priorities,” said Tony Thomas, Windstream’s president and CEO. “We produced sequential revenue growth in our consumer business unit through our upgraded broadband network that now offers Internet speeds up to 1Gbps. We increased profitability in our Enterprise business unit by targeting middle-market business customers with advanced, customized solutions while reducing costs. Additionally, we significantly improved our balance sheet through debt-refinancing initiatives. Overall we had a very productive quarter and are on track to achieve our goals for the year.”

Service revenue was $1.34 billion in the first quarter, down from $1.38 billion for the year ago quarter, according to Windstream. Consumer and small business ILEC service revenues totaled $397 million in the first quarter, a 1 percent decrease from a year ago.{ad}

Carrier service revenue was $163 million, down 7 percent year-over-year, driven largely by declining legacy services offset in part by sales of Ethernet and Optical Wave services using the company’s 100G fiber transport network. Enterprise service revenue was $491 million, an increase of 3 percent year-over-year. Small business CLEC service revenue was $129 million, a 12 percent drop.

Windstream expects service revenue of $5.27 billion to $5.42 billion for the year. Adjusted capital expenditures are expected to be $800-$850 million, which excludes about $200 million in expected investments to complete Project Excel, a program funded by a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the company’s data center business to accelerate its plans to upgrade and modernize its broadband capabilities by year-end 2016.

“Our vision is to provide a best-in-class customer experience through our network and our people,” Thomas said. “This is centered on providing advanced, reliable services to our customers while making smart, targeted investments to increase the value of our extensive network and generate higher returns for our shareholders. Through our focused operational strategy, we have multiple paths to drive improving financial results.”

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