The provider of chiefly business-class networking services reported a 3% year-over-year revenue decline to $1.5 billion, netting GAAP earnings of $0.20 per share. These results did not disappoint; Wall Street analysts expected earnings around $0.10 per share on $1.5 billion in revenue.
Thirty percent of Windstream's voice service accounts signed off in 2013. The company is making up for these expected losses by stepping up sales of broadband lines and proprietary business services, like cloud hosting and data center co-location.
As the consumer-level voice business continues to shrink, Windstream is shifting its customer mix ever more into the enterprise segment. Business services now account for 74% of the company's total sales, up from 73% a year ago.
"We are executing a growth-oriented strategy while also managing our legacy business for profitability," said Windstream CEO Jeff Gardner. He aims to balance growth investments with debt reduction and solid dividends.
Windstream's current 12.7% dividend yield is supported by cash flows. Sixty-seven percent of Windstream's free cash flows were funneled into dividend checks in the fourth quarter, and Gardner expects to keep this ratio between 68% and 78% in fiscal year 2014.