Qwest Q3 profit drops, job cuts ahead

Qwest Communications, still the third-largest telco in the U.S., reported third quarter earnings that included $151 million in net income. That profit posting was sharply lower than the $2.06 billion reported for the same period in 2007, but last year's figure was enhanced by a tax credit. Revenue was down slightly year-over-year to $3.38 billion.

Qwest CEO Edward Mueller attributed some of the poor performance to macro-economic factors, as well as ongoing landline loss. in any case, the ongoing struggles mean more job cuts at Qwest. The telco said it will eliminate 1,200 jobs, or 3 percent of its work force.

Landline loss at Qwest during the third quarter was about 8.9 percent, bringing the telco down to about 11.9 million lines. That is not really any worse than the rate at which Verizon Communications and AT&T are losing lines, but Qwest's overall performance still seems a world away from its former Bell company brethren. On the positive side, Qwest did add about 39,000 video customers through its DirecTV partnership, and also picked up 61,000 broadband customers. Government accounts could be a growing source of revenue as Qwest collects more deals related to the Networx Universal contract.

For more:
- The Associated Press has the story

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