DENVER, June 8, 2009 — Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) and its Board of Directors today announced the outcome of its strategic review of its long distance network asset.
After receiving unsolicited indications of interest from potential purchasers of Qwest's long distance network asset, the company and its Board of Directors undertook a comprehensive review of this asset and its operations. Following this review, the company commenced a competitive bidding process. Although there was significant interest in this process from prospective buyers, the company and its Board of Directors have determined that the long distance network asset holds far more value to Qwest shareholders and is more strategically important to Qwest and its customers than is the alternative of pursuing a transaction.
Qwest reaffirms its guidance for the full year 2009, expecting adjusted free cash flow to be $1.4 to $1.5 billion, full year adjusted EBITDA of $4.2 to $4.4 billion, inclusive of an expected increase in non-cash pension and OPEB expense of $200 million, and capital expenditures of $1.8 billion or lower.
“Qwest remains confident in its outlook for 2009 and the ability of its business to continue to perform,” said Edward A. Mueller, chairman and chief executive officer of Qwest. “At the same time, we are committed to taking steps that will benefit our shareholders, customers and employees in every decision we make. We have always taken a disciplined, prudent approach to assessing our business in this ever changing industry. The review we conducted confirmed that our nationwide network is a tremendous asset and delivers best-in-class telecommunications services to businesses and government agencies throughout the country. We are committed to serving those valued customers and remain focused on increasing shareholder value and perfecting the customer experience."
Second Quarter 2009 Earnings Call
The Company will announce its second quarter 2009 financial and operational highlights on Wednesday, July 29, 2009, at 7 a.m. EDT. Qwest management will host a conference call at 9 a.m. EDT on the same day to discuss the company’s perspective on the results and answer questions.
Customers coast to coast turn to Qwest's industry-leading national fiber-optic network and world-class customer service to meet their communications and entertainment needs. For residential customers, Qwest offers a new generation of fiber-optic Internet service, high-speed internet solutions, as well as home phone, Verizon Wireless, and DIRECTV® services. Qwest is also the choice of 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies, offering a full suite of network, data and voice services for small businesses, large businesses, government agencies and wholesale customers. Additionally, Qwest participates in Networx, the largest communications services contract in the world, and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by a leading technology industry analyst firm.
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Forward-Looking Statement Note
This release may contain projections and other forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: access line losses due to increased competition, including from technology substitution of our access lines with wireless and cable alternatives, among others; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to further de-lever our balance sheet; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings; potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete including the effects of consolidation in our industry; changes in demand for our products and services; acceleration of the deployment of advanced new services, such as broadband data, wireless and video services, which could require substantial expenditure of financial and other resources in excess of contemplated levels; higher than anticipated employee levels, capital expenditures and operating expenses; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our significant accounting policies; our ability to utilize net operating losses in projected amounts; and continued unfavorable general economic conditions, including the current financial crisis.
The information contained in this release is a statement of Qwest’s present intention, belief or expectation and is based upon, among other things, the existing regulatory environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and Qwest’s assumptions. Qwest may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in Qwest’s assumptions or otherwise. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that Qwest or persons acting on its behalf may issue. This release may include analysts’ estimates and other information prepared by third parties for which Qwest assumes no responsibility.
Qwest undertakes no obligation to review or confirm analysts’ expectations or estimates or to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements and other statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
By including any information in this release, Qwest does not necessarily acknowledge that disclosure of such information is required by applicable law or that the information is material.
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