Windstream net income rises despite falling revenue

by The City Wire staff ( 10 views 

Despite declining overall revenues, Windstream Corp. saw its bottom line improve as cost savings and strategic growth areas boosted its fourth quarter and full year profits.

Little Rock-based Windstream Corp. posted 2013 fourth quarter earnings of $118.4 million, a huge improvement from $10.1 million one year ago. Revenues for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2013 were $1.49 billion, down three percent from $1.534 billion in 2012′s fourth quarter.

For the full year, Windstream reported net income of $241 million on revenue of $5.988 billion compared to a $168 million profit on revenue and sales of $6.139 billion one year ago.

“2013 was a solid year for Windstream. Our business team finished the year strong, generating sequential revenue growth again, and our consumer team continued to grow broadband revenue and deliver steady results, all of which better position us to achieve our goals and deliver value to shareholders,” said Jeff Gardner, president and CEO.

Windstream announced last week that it would slice 400 jobs from its nationwide workforce in an effort to remain lean and to position the communications firm for future growth, particularly in its broadband and business services which showed steady growth.

Traditional landline revenues – under heavy pressure from the wireless industry – continued to slump. Gardner said Windstream’s efforts are to keep the legacy business in the black, but to capitalize on business services and broadband growth.

“We are executing a growth-oriented strategy while also managing our legacy business for profitability. This combination is gradually stabilizing top-line trends and generating substantial cash flow. It is our continued belief that our capital allocation strategy strikes the right balance among investing in the growth drivers of the business, paying an attractive dividend to our shareholders and reducing debt over time,” Gardner said.

Financial notes included:
• Total business and consumer broadband revenues now represent 73% of the company’s total revenues.

• The company deployed fiber to approximately 2,000 wireless towers, opened three data centers and expanded and enhanced its broadband network throughout the year.

• During the year, Windstream reduced its debt by more than $200 million.

• The company also refinanced almost $4 billion in debt in 2013, which extended debt maturities and lowered cash interest expense.

• Paying $594 million in dividends to shareholders.

Windstream shares (NASDAQ: WIN) closed trading on Wednesday (Feb. 26) at $7.93. The company’s stock has traded between a low of $7.18 and a high of $9.17 in the past year.