Windstream profit up 396%, Embarq down 4%

Independent telcos Windstream Communications and Embarq Corp. reported fourth-quarter earnings today and yesterday, respectively. Windstream this morning said profit improved by almost 400% to $583.6 million, or 25 cents per share, though a lot of the gain came from the sale of the company's directory business. Windstream saw access lines decline by about 5%.

Embarq saw the number of phone lines it serves decline by about 153,000 during the fourth quarter to about 6.47 million. The company lost about 453,000 lines during 2007, after ending 2006 with about 6.9 million. That drop was one of the things that led the company to post profit of about $190 million, or $1.23 per share, which was 4% lower than the fourth quarter of 2006, but it still beat analyst estimates that hovered around $1.10 earnings per share. Yesterday's quarterly earnings call was the first under Embarq's interim CEO, Tom Gerke, since former CEO Dan Hesse left in December to run Sprint Nextel.

For more:
- see this Associated Press report on Windstream at CNN Money
- read this story on Embarq at The Kansas City Star

Related articles:
- Windstream showed much improvement over the third quarter of 2007