Lines losses, broadband gains mark CenturyTel, Embarq Q3 earnings

CenturyTel and Embarq both reported third quarter earnings this morning along with the announcement that CenturyTel is planning to acquire Embarq. Both earnings reports show telcos under pressure from landline losses, but finding strength in broadband.

Monroe, La.-based CenturyTel reported net income of $82.8 million in third quarter, down from $108.1 million in third quarter of 2007. Total access lines were down about 6 percent, compared to the third quarter of 2007, to 2,041,000. CenturyTel added 20,600 high-speed Internet customers during the quarter, and revenue from that sector increased about 21 percent.

Embarq reported net income of $160 million, up slightly from the same period last year. The company saw access lines decline by about 169,000 during the third quarter, to about 5.85 million total. On a positive note, Embarq CFO Gene Betts, speaking during a conference call this morning about the acquisition that also included some earnings discussion, said the company added a record 45,000 video customers during the quarter. Betts also said Embarq is reducing its revenue outlook to the $5.66 to $5.70 billion range for the full year, down from the earlier forecast of between $5.72 billion to $5.80 billion. Betts added that Embarq has cut it capex outlook for this year to less than $710 million from around $740 million.

For more:
The Associated Press has the Embarq story at Forbes
CentryTel issued this earnings press release

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CenturyTel reported declining profit and landlines in Q2
Embarq reported higher profit and lower landlines in Q2