Windstream's earnings drop, Pa. PUC approves D&E purchase

Windstream's third-quarter earnings certainly don't give anyone a lot to smile about. For the quarter, Windstream reported $734 million in revenue, an 8 percent decline from 2008, while net income also decreased 24 percent to $80 million.

Despite its losses, the ILEC did make progress in not only reducing its voice line loss, but also in increasing its broadband count and in its acquisition plans.

While access line loss is an ongoing reality for all wireline telcos, Windstream only lost 27,000 access lines--the lowest it has seen since the company was officially formed in 2006. As of the end of the third quarter, Windstream's total access lines were 2.93 million, a 5.2 percent year-over-year decline.

Complementing the record-low line loss was broadband and TV growth. During the quarter, Windstream added 26,000 new DSL customers and more than 11,000 digital TV customers. This brings Windstream's total broadband and TV base to about 1,050,000 and 323,000 customers, respectively.

Windstream is also making progress on the acquisition front with its pending acquisitions of D&E Communications, Lexcom and, most recently, CLEC NuVox Communications to expand its business capabilities. Windstream has also now gotten the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission's approval of its acquisition of independent ILEC D&E Communications. With the PUC approval in place, Windstream says it will close the D&E acquisition this week.

For more:
- see the official release here

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