4. Windstream ( WIN), a communications and technology solutions provider, specializes in complex data, high-speed Internet access, and voice and transport services to customers in 29 states. The company provides a variety of solutions including Internet Protocol (IP)-based voice and data services, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networking, data center and managed services, hosting services and communications systems.

Revenue for the first quarter of 2011 was $1.02 billion, up 21% from the year-ago period. Operating income soared 14% to $282.4 million. During the quarter, the company added more than 27,000 new high-speed Internet customers in the consumer channel, while advanced data and integrated solutions rose 2.5% year-over-year in the business channel. Capital expenditure for the quarter stood at $159.6 million, increasing 164% year over year.

The company recently paid a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share on its common stock. For 2011, the company has raised its dividend payout ratio forecast to 53%-60% from the earlier forecast of 52%-59%. For all of 2011, the company has reaffirmed its guidance and estimates revenue to range from $4.015 billion to $4.14 billion, OBIDA between $1.985 billion and $2.045 billion and adjusted OBIDA in the range of $2.045 billion to $2.105 billion.

Of the 20 analysts covering the stock, 40% rate it a buy and the rest rate it a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. On average, analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average of 11.7% to $14.68 in the coming 12 months.

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