Image source: Windstream.

What: Shares of communications and technology solutions company Windstream (NASDAQ:WINMQ) soared as much as 14% on Friday, but are up about 8% at the time of this writing. The jump in the stock price follows the company's fourth-quarter earnings release. 

So what: The most likely reason for the rise on Friday was Windstream's higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit. The company reported fourth-quarter EPS of $1.41, well above analyst estimates for the period for loss of 0.44. Notably, this also represents a considerable jump in EPS compared to a loss in the year-ago quarter of $0.80.

Windstream's revenue, however, didn't come in ahead of the consensus analyst estimate for the metric. Revenue was $1.43 billion -- about in line with expectations. Further, revenue for the quarter was down slightly from year-ago revenue of $1.44 billion.

Now what: Capital allocation will be a priority for the company in 2016.

"We are executing a focused strategy to stabilize and grow operating cash flow," said CEO Tony Thomas in its press release. "We also will continue to prudently manage our balance sheet and take a balanced approach to capital allocation that includes reducing debt, making capital investments that create incremental cash flows and returning capital to shareholders."

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