Our newly betrothed ILEC couple, q and CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL, news, filings), both reported Q1 earnings today, telling similar stories of improving performance amidst the usual declines in access lines.
q continued its steady improvement overall. Revenues were $2.966B, down 1% from the fourth quarter but slightly above analyst estimates, as was earnings per share of $0.10 after taking out the non-cash charge due to the now familiar disallowance of health care tax deductions. Adjusted EBITDA of $1.124B was higher than the fourth quarter's $1.085B, and the company generated some $335M in free cash flow. Consumer access lines fell another 3% or so to 6.67M. Overall, a reasonably solid quarter and full year guidance was maintained.
CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL, news, filings) checked in with revenues of $1.80B, also down sequentially yet slightly above analyst estimates, while earnings per share of $0.93 was ahead of expectations. That was good enough to raise full year guidance across the board. The company now expects revenues to decline 6.5-7.5%, down a full percentage point from initial expectations. The projected free cash flow range went up by $50M to $1.525-1.575B, and full year earnings per share were raised by a dime to $3.20-3.30. But for the second quarter, guidance mostly met expectations as measured by Yahoo Finance. Access lines fell to 6.913M.
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