CenturyTel Q4 profit, revenue slide

Rural independent telco CenturyTel, which is planning to acquire fellow telco Embarq, reported fourth-quarter earnings that included slight dips in net income and revenue. Net income for the fourth quarter was down to $100.1 million from $115 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, and operating revenue slid about 2.3 percent to just under $643 million.

Access lines also continued a downward trend, as the total number in Q4 2008 fell 6.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007. The company now has just under 2 million access lines, a number that it is looking to almost quadruple through the acquisition of Embarq.

CenturyTel also said its outlook for this year includes a forecast for revenue to be "modestly lower" than the $2.59 billion it reported for the full year of 2008, a number which itself had declined slightly from 2007. However, the outlook does not reflect the pending acquisition, which could close as early as the second quarter.

For more:
- here's the CenturyTel's press release

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CenturyTel announced plans to buy Embarq last fall
CenturyTel's bid was not the biggest Embarq received

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