DENVER (AP) -- Denver-based phone company Qwest Communications says its fourth-quarter earnings fell 49 percent from a year ago, mainly due to tax effects -- while cost-cutting improved its underlying performance.
Qwest said today that it earned $185 million, or 11 cents per share, from October through December. That's down from $366 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 10 cents per share.
The latest results included a charge of a penny per share for severance payments. The company cut 1,700 jobs in the quarter.
Qwest Chief Executive Edward Mueller says the company exceeded its goal "in achieving employee reductions" that will give it "a leg up on this year's profitability objectives."