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Qwest Posts Profit

But the latest quarter misses the Wall Street estimate.
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posted a first-quarter profit, helped along by a gain on the sale of its wireless assets.

The company earned $57 million, or 3 cents a share, in the latest quarter, reversing the year-ago loss of $310 million, or 17 cents a share. The first quarter was aided by a gain of 14 cents a share on the sale of wireless assets to rival



, which just aced out Qwest in a two-month-plus bidding war for




Excluding the gain, the latest-quarter loss was 11 cents a share, a penny wider than the Thomson First Call estimate. Revenue dropped 0.9% from a year ago to $3.45 billion, in line with expectations.

The company said operating income before depreciation and amortization rose to $974 million from $873 million a year earlier. Capital spending fell to $313 million from $455 million a year ago. The company added 85,000 high-speed Internet digital subscriber, or DSL, lines and said its so-called bundling penetration, reflecting the proportion of customers who take more than one service from the company, rose to 47% from 35%.

Qwest closed at $3.47 Tuesday.