In the wake of CenturyLink's surprise dividend cut, many eyes were on the earnings report of Windstream this morning to see if they'd do the same. They didn't, and in fact made a point of reaffirming their current $1/share dividend.
Revenues of $1.538B were basically where they should have been, and featured a 3% increase in business revenues to $917M and 6% growth for those enterprises generating more than $750/month. That's where Windstream is focusing its efforts right now of course via managed services etc. Adjusted OIBDA of $619M was up from $607M the same quarter last year and $603M in the prior quarter. Adjusted earnings per share (exluding one time items) was a couple pennies light at $0.11.
In terms of capital spending, the company expects to do less of it this year as its FTTT and broadband stimulus projects get completed. They'll be directing some of the extra free cash flow toward debt reduction, although they were careful to re-emphasize again that the dividend comes first when they said that.
For me, Windstream is still hard to get a solid read on, as its dual ILEC/CLEC position on things must develop further yet. I suspect they may be on the M&A warpath later this year, but right now it's all about keeping the dividend watchers happy.
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