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Qwest announces 7,000 layoffs

Qwest Communications’ advertising slogan may be “Ride the Light”, but at this point things are not looking very bright for the company. Today, the carrier detailed fourth-quarter earnings that were worse than expected by financial analysts. The company cut an additional 7,000 jobs and may be forced to sell assets to generate cash.

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For the quarter ended December 31, 2001, Qwest lost $0.07 per share on a pro forma basis. The company reported a net loss of $516 million or $0.31 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $116 million or $0.07 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2000. Revenue for the quarter sank 6% to $4.70 billion from $5.02 billion in the same period last year. That drop was attributed primarily to reduced optical capacity asset sales and Internet equipment sales.

Although this wasn’t a good quarter, Chairman and CEO Joe Nacchio doesn’t predict things will improve much later this year. For 2002, he expects revenue to be at or near the low estimate of previously issued guidance of $19.4 to $19.8 billion. Qwest posted revenues of $19.74 billion for 2001.

“The economy is a little weaker,” said Nacchio, who attributed most of Qwest’s troubles to the current economic decline. “But 2002 will be a period of transition and execution,” Nacchio said.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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