Windstream shrinks 1Q net loss to $78.7 million

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 448 views 

Little Rock-based Windstream Holdings, Inc. reported a smaller first quarter loss than a year ago as overall revenues declined amidst the telecom and broadband provider’s efforts to exit bankruptcy.

Windstream reported revenues of $1.2 billion and a net loss of $78.7 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2020. One year ago, the company posted a $2.31 billion loss on revenue of $1.32 billion. The year ago numbers reflect the quarter that Windstream filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

First quarter 2020 earnings reflect a net loss of $1.84 per share compared to a net loss of $54.26 per share one year ago.

“Windstream overcame unprecedented conditions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic to deliver solid results in the first quarter. Our network continues to perform well, primarily due to our past network investments and modernization efforts, even as usage has increased significantly in recent weeks. I want to thank our Windstream team for remaining focused on our customers and for tirelessly providing essential telecommunications services during this challenging time,” said Tony Thomas, president and CEO of Windstream.

Windstream has been working its way out of bankruptcy since early last year. The company filed a reorganization plan on April 1, 2019 in an effort to reduce debt by more than $4 billion.

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome was Windstream’s financial contracts with its spinoff, Uniti Corp. Windstream initially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a year ago after a legal ruling in New York determined that it had violated bond agreements after splitting off the former Communications Sales & Leasing (CS&L) in April 2015. CS&L was the previous name of Little Rock-based Uniti, a real estate investment trust that was spun out of Windstream and manages its fiber optic network.

Windstream and Uniti settled their legal dispute in early March 2020.

The Uniti agreement, which was approved by a federal court on May 8, calls for Uniti to invest $1.75 billion in the network, enabling Windstream to deliver 1 Gig speeds to more than half of its kinetic footprint, a growth area for the firm in the first quarter. Uniti also will pay Windstream about $490 million and purchase certain unused and underutilized dark fiber assets from Windstream for an additional $285 million.