Qwest profit surges 37 percent

Despite a 6.6 percent decline in revenue mostly driven by accelerated landline losses, Qwest Communication posted a first-quarter net income jump of about 37 percent to $206 million. The overall revenue figure was $3.17 billion. The number of consumer voice lines was down about 11.4 percent to 7.7 million, and overall access lines were down 10 percent to 11.2 million.

The company's net income increased primarily due to cost cuts, such as a 10 percent reduction in the workforce that has taken place over the last year. Meanwhile, some key service growth indicators were looking up, as average revenue per user was up more than 5 percent, broadband subscribers increased by 7 percent, and video subscriptions were up 20 percent. 

We were listening in on the earnings Webcast this morning while writing this post, and as of this writing, company officials had not mentioned anything about recent reports and rumors that Qwest was considering selling its long-haul network--or possibly doing an even bigger deal--to raise money to pay off debt. We'll update this post later if any new information emerges on that topic. Qwest did recently increase the size of a proposed debt offering by about $500 million to $810.5 million.

For more:
- The Wall Street Journal has this story

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