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CenturyLink's 4Q Profit And Revenue Fall

For fiscal 2010, CenturyTel earned $947.7 million, or $3.13 per share. In 2009, it earned $647.2 million, or $3.23 per share. During 2010, the number of average shares outstanding grew 51 percent, diluting per-share earnings.

Revenue for the year rose to $7.04 billion from $4.97 billion.

For the current quarter, CenturyLink forecast earnings of 66 to 70 cents per share, not counting one-time charges, on revenue of $1.68 billion to $1.7 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, expect earnings of 82 cents per share on about $1.7 billion in revenue.

In light of its pending Qwest purchase, CenturyLink would not provide an adjusted earnings forecast for 2011. However, it said it expects one-time charges throughout the year to trim per-share earnings by 49 to 55 cents, not counting any effects from the Qwest acquisition.

For the year, it also expects revenue to fall 4 percent to 5 percent, again not counting the effects of the Qwest acquisition. This implies revenue between $6.69 billion and $6.76 billion.

Analysts expect fiscal 2011 revenue of $6.67 billion, according to FactSet.

Earlier Tuesday, CenturyLink signed a wireless resale deal with Qwest partner Verizon Wireless to start offering that company's equipment and service plans to its residential and small business customers.

Also Tuesday, Qwest Communications said it swung to a fourth-quarter loss from year-ago profit, largely due to charges related to its pending takeover by CenturyLink and a decline in traditional phone revenue.

CenturyLink shares fell $1.31, or 2.9 percent, to close at $44.83.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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