Windstream profit slides 29 percent

Rural market telco Windstream Communications reported first-quarter earnings marked by a 29 percent decline in net income to $88.2 million, from $123.7 million for the first quarter of 2008. Revenue was off about 6 percent year-over-year to $755 million. A previously announced $14 million pension charge was perceived to have had some effect on overall numbers.

Like other telcos, Windstream continued to see access lines fade, though typical of rural firms, at a somewhat slower rate. The company lost 44,000 lines during the first quarter, a rate of about 5.3 percent. Windstream now has 2.99 million access lines. On the positive side, the telco increased its satellite TV subscriber base by 21,000 to 295,000, and also added 31,000 broadband Internet customers during the quarter, bringing its broadband subscriber total to more than 1 million.

In related news Windstream shareholders earlier this week did not approve a "Say on Pay" proposal that would have allowed them an advisory opinion on executive compensation. Such proposals have become more common, and Verizon Communications shareholders currently have that right.

For more:
- Forbes has this AP story
- ArkansasBusiness has this story on the shareholder vote

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