Qwest CFO reassures investors

Joseph Euteneuer, who has been CFO at Qwest Communication International for only about two months, spoke at a Bank of America investors conference late last week and said the telco will continue to be able to cover its debt commitments. Euteneuer said Qwest "was generating enough free cash and had enough 'levers' to pull to cover its debt," according to a Dow Jones wire story. Much of the company's free cash is currently being used to pay down debt.

He indicated that Qwest wants to refinance some of its debt when the debt market settles somewhat, and he acknowledged that about $1.27 billion in convertible debt due in November 2010 is getting significant attention from the company.

Qwest has continued to suffer from financial shortcomings while other big telcos AT&T and Verizon have so far been holding their own in a difficult economy. Euteneuer said Qwest actually has ramped up marketing efforts recently which he suggested could give the company momentum into next year. Qwest has been helped somewhat by receiving federal government contracts related to the Networx Universal project, but Euteneuer said the Networx contract awards still are only trickling out, which was a common complaint by carriers several months ago.

For more:
- CNN Mony has this Dow Jones story

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Euteneuer became CFO at Qwest in September
Former Qwest CFO John Richardson departed this year
The Networx contract bottleneck eased up a bit last spring