What happened

Shares of Windstream Holdings (NASDAQ:WIN) plunged 43% in the first half of 2018, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Weak business results played a major part in this decline, and the asset-less telecom's early summer also saw several desperate-looking financing moves.

So what

February's breakeven fourth-quarter earnings and 14% year-over-year revenue growth actually wasn't a terrible report, triggering a quick 19% jump the next day, but those gains faded to a 13% drop before the closing bell, and share prices largely continued their usual slide anyhow. May's first-quarter report saw top-line growth slowing down to 6%, and Windstream's net loss of $0.65 per share were modestly deeper than expected.

Office worker leaning on his desk, palms pressed to his temples, and staring in horror at his laptop screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

Later that month, Windstream completed a 1-for-5 reverse stock split, designed to keep it in compliance with listing rules for the NASDAQ stock exchange. In June, the company started to amend or refinance some of its existing debt papers, in some cases stretching and modifying its debt exchange offers due to low adoption of the earlier proposals.

Now what

Windstream is not a healthy business, having spun off its best business assets into the infrastructure management company know as Uniti Group. Uniti is working hard to land new customers and distance itself from the old Windstream mothership. The guaranteed lease payments from Windstream no longer look all that reliable in the long run.

Windstream shares have now plunged 76% lower over the last 52 weeks, leaving investors with little hope for a real turnaround.

Anders Bylund owns shares of Uniti Group Inc. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.