Windstream-Prudent and growing - Q3 Performance Tier 2 ILECS

Out of the three largest Tier 2 ILECs, Windstream is not in the midst of swallowing up another tier one's rural line leftovers, nor does it show plans to acquire one of its other brothers CenturyLink and/or Frontier.

The third quarter for Windstream was a time of ups and downs. On one hand, revenue declined 8 percent to $734 million, while net income also decreased 24 percent to $80 million.

While access line loss is an ongoing reality for all wireline telcos, Windstream only lost 27,000 voice access lines--the lowest it has seen since the company was officially formed in 2006. As of the end of the third quarter, Windstream's total access lines were 2.93 million, a 5.2 percent year-over-year decline.

Complementing the record-low line loss was broadband and TV growth. During the quarter, Windstream added 26,000 new DSL customers and more than 11,000 digital TV customers. This brings Windstream's total broadband and TV base to about 1,050,000 and 323,000 customers, respectively.

Similar to CenturyLink and Frontier, Windstream is also expanding through mergers/acquisitions; however, the ILEC has been snapping up smaller ILECs (D&E and Lexcom) and more recently a CLEC (NuVox) to enhance its broadband and business service power.

Windstream wraps up D&E acquisition
Windstream's earnings drop, Pa. PUC approves D&E purchase
Windstream: Q2 earnings slide, FCC OKs D&E acquisition
Windstream: Waiting to strike? - Sizing up ILEC M&A activity
Sizing up ILEC M&A activity

Windstream-Prudent and growing - Q3 Performance Tier 2 ILECS