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Windstream reports fourth-quarter earnings results
Generated $379 million in net cash from operations
Produced $288 million in free cash flow a 14 percent increase year-over-year and $823 million in free cash flow for 2009 an 8 percent increase from a year ago
Reduced dividend payout ratio of free cash flow to 53 percent for the year the lowest rate since companys formation
Added more than 27,000 new high-speed Internet customers and about 10,000 new digital TV customers
Delivered second consecutive quarter of decelerating access line loss with 4.8 percent decline year-over-year
Release date: Feb. 18, 2010
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. Windstream Corporation (NASDAQ: WIN) today reported fourth-quarter and full-year results highlighted by strong free cash flow growth and the lowest dividend payout ratio of free cash flow since the company was formed in 2006.
Free cash flow, defined as net cash provided from operations minus capital expenditures, was $288 million for the quarter and $823 million for the year, an increase of almost $60 million year-over-year, largely due to expense management initiatives and lower cash taxes. Windstream returned approximately $560 million, or 68 percent of its free cash flow, to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases in 2009. The companys dividend payout ratio of free cash flow was 53 percent for the year, the lowest rate in the companys history.
I am very pleased with our performance for the quarter and all of 2009, said Jeff Gardner, Windstream president and CEO. We significantly improved the companys strategic and competitive positions through very targeted acquisitions that will help us sustain revenue and cash flow over time. We also reduced our credit market risk by raising the capital needed to fund our announced acquisitions and extending the vast majority of our bank debt maturities.
In spite of a tough economy, we improved key operating metrics and achieve our financial guidance for the year in two very important areas. We also further lowered our dividend payout ratio of free cash flow to enhance the sustainability of our dividend, which is so important to the total return to our stockholders, Gardner said.
The following information was filed by Windstream Holdings, Inc. (WIN) on Thursday, February 18, 2010 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.
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