CenturyLink CFO: We won't sell our assets ... yet

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) said it has no near-term plans to sell off or trade any of its existing assets.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank 2015 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, Stewart Ewing, CFO and EVP of CenturyLink, told investors that while the company has looked at the possibility of making a potential sale, it has yet to pull the trigger.

"From time to time we look at the assets to look at potentially trading or divesting some of the areas that are smaller, and at this point we've decided not to do that," Ewing said. "With the long-haul network that we have we can really tie these areas together and we can control those backhaul costs."

While CenturyLink does operate networks in smaller rural markets, Ewing said that the company has a central support structure that does not require more capital to conduct regular maintenance and upkeep on these network assets.

"All of the services we provide, we provide through a centralized support structure so there's not incremental headcount required for those areas other than the techs that are out there," Ewing said. "We have been able to scale that a little bit as we have lost customers in those areas."

Ewing added that while the company will continue to look at selling assets, "at this point we think we can operate in those areas fairly cost effectively."

The idea that CenturyLink could sell off non-core assets in its footprint comes at a time when some of its larger ILEC brothers--namely AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ)--have been shedding some of their secondary market assets. In February, Verizon reached a deal to sell off its wireline properties in three markets to Frontier. Frontier purchased AT&T's Connecticut wireline operations for $2 billion last October.

For more:
- hear the webcast (reg. req.)

Related articles:
CenturyLink's Post: We will deliver the broadband speeds we can afford
CenturyLink lights 1 Gig service for southern Utah businesses
AT&T to sell some data centers for $2B, report says
CenturyLink outlines first Denver neighborhoods to get 1 Gbps service
CenturyLink wants Congress to update the 1992 Cable Act