Shares of telecom operator CenturyLink slid 2% lower in after-hours trading as the company released third-quarter results in line with analyst estimates.
CenturyLink's revenue decreased 1.2% year over year to $4.5 billion. Non-GAAP earnings shrank 4.5% to $0.63 per share. Both figures were exactly in line with Wall Street's targets.
The bottom-line result excludes some one-time items, including a $1.1 billion non-cash goodwill impairment charge against CenturyLink's data hosting business. The division is not delivering the revenue growth and positive cash flows that CenturyLink had expected to reap from the $3.2 billion buyout of hosting specialist Savvis in 2011.
In a seasonally slow quarter, CenturyLink grew its broadband customer list by just 0.6% this quarter. Meanwhile, 1.3% of the company's traditional voice line customers cut the cord.
Investors looking for a bright side might focus on the CenturyLink Prism cable TV service. The Internet-based TV broadcast service was quietly launched in 2010 and has now reached 149,000 paying households. Some 17,000 new customers were added during the third quarter, a 13% increase in a slim three-month window. CenturyLink is making a spirited move on triple-play package sales, ripping a page from the traditional cable provider playbook.
The article CenturyLink Posts Solid Third-Quarter Results, With a Side of Data Hosting Pain originally appeared on Fool.com.Fool contributor Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. Check out Anders' bio and holdings or follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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