Qwest Preps Layoffs

Responding to what it describes as disappointing Q3 margins, Qwest sets out to cut 1,200 jobs

Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

October 29, 2008

2 Min Read
Qwest Preps Layoffs

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) shares fell another 4 percent today as the company announced plans to cut 1,200 jobs, or 3 percent of its workforce, during the fourth quarter.

The announcement, made with the company's third-quarter earnings this morning, is a reaction to Qwest's shrinking profit margins as the landline exodus continues. (See Qwest Enlists Layoffs, Posts Q3.)

"We had a good revenue performance, but profitability was soft," new chief operating officer Thomas Richards said during this morning's call. (See Qwest Appoints COO.)

Qwest shares trade at around $2.40 these days, having lost 70 percent of their value in the past 12 months.

The carrier saw business revenues grow 7 percent versus the same quarter a year ago, contributing to a 4 percent increase in data, Internet, and video revenues.

But landline disconnections continued to pile up -- 320,000 of them in the third quarter, leaving Qwest with 11.8 million phone customers left. Revenues from voice services were down 9 percent from the previous year and down 2 percent from the second quarter.

About 5 percent of Qwest's wireless customers have been moved to Verizon Wireless under the carriers' new partnership. (See Qwest, Verizon Partner.) Qwest also noted that it added 40,000 new fiber-to-the-node subscribers during the quarter.

For the quarter ending Sept. 30, Qwest reported revenues of $3.38 billion and net income of $151 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with the previous quarter's revenues of $3.38 billion and net income of $188 million, or 11 cents per share.

For its third quarter a year ago, Qwest had reported revenues of $3.43 billion and net income of $2.07 billion, or $1.08 per share.

Non-GAAP earnings per share of 10 cents met analysts' expectations, according to Reuters Research .

Qwest shaved its employee count earlier in the year, agreeing with the Communications Workers of America to offer voluntary separations that the carrier expected less than 740 people to accept. (See Qwest Cuts More Jobs.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Craig Matsumoto

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Yes, THAT Craig Matsumoto – who used to be at Light Reading from 2002 until 2013 and then went away and did other stuff and now HE'S BACK! As Editor-in-Chief. Go Craig!!

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