February 2, 2000 7:00 AM PST

Qwest meets expectations, revenues jump

Qwest Communications today reported fourth-quarter earnings in line with analyst expectations as revenues from communications and Internet services soared.

Qwest, which is currently wrapped up in a pending merger with US West, posted net earnings for the quarter of $29.4 million, or 4 cents a share. Those numbers exclude a one-time gain of $414 million related to its KPNQwest initial public offering and $6.5 million worth of costs directly related to the proposed merger with US West, the company said in a statement. That compares with earnings of $10.4 million, or 1 cent a share, in the same period in 1998.

Analysts expected Qwest to earn 4 cents per share, according to a survey by First Call.

Revenues for the quarter jumped 34 percent to $1.16 billion compared with $865 million in its year-ago period.

The company attributes its positive quarter to strong demand in Internet communication services including Web hosting, application services hosting and e-commerce services.

Qwest chief financial officer Robert Woodruff said they expect to continue to see strong revenue growth in 2000 led by the demand for the company's Internet-based applications and services. The company said it anticipates revenues will continue to grow in the range of 30 percent to 35 percent this year.

Last quarter, Qwest also reported in-line earnings fueled by revenue growth from data and Internet services. For the third quarter, Qwest said it had earnings of $19.8 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a pro forma loss of $11.4 million, or 2 cents a share, a year earlier. The Denver, Colo.-based company said revenues rose 26 percent to $1.02 billion from $807.1 million a year earlier, marking its first billion-dollar quarter.


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