Even though many companies continue to see great success in the telecom market, the dire economy is giving just about every solid earnings report a mix of good and bad news. Even in faraway Russia, telecom firm Vimpel Communications (NYSE:VIP) added its own chill to what would normally have been a grand celebration over solid operational results.

Just like peer Mobile TeleSystems (NYSE:MBT), VimpelCom continues to see rapid growth in developing mobile markets. This helped net operating revenue jump 45% to reach $2.8 billion, but part of the gains also come from the addition of Golden Telecom, which was acquired earlier in the year. Net income came in at $269 million, and could have been far better had it not been dealt a severe $341 million blow from currency exchange losses. VimpelCom also tacked on more than 7 million new mobile subscribers versus the third quarter last year, and it anticipates even more opportunities ahead, with Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerries now available and a deal also struck to carry the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone.

But while VimpelCom's results show that big can still be beautiful, the company clearly sees things changing rapidly, and is refocusing the business to accommodate. Anticipating further deterioration in the economy, VimpelCom is now primarily focused on paying down its debt load. To do this, the company will slash its capital budget for next year and is considering cutting back dividends paid to shareholders, instead directing that money to debt payments.

Normally, a cutback in expansion and a dire outlook on the future would send a stock reeling. But management's change in operating plans at the Russian carrier helped soothe some nerves, and VimpelCom's stock stayed stable following the release -- if you can call anything stable these days. Also, VimpelCom's stock has already plunged nearly 60% in the past three months as the company has taken on more debt and fought off rumors that its CEO would resign right as things were turning bleak.

While I do have to say a big "mea culpa" for favoring VimpelCom when it was priced at a premium earlier this year, it's hard for me not to recommend the Russian carrier at its discounted price today. While there are always significant risks in international investments, the potential reward from a fundamentally strong, well-run company like VimpelCom makes it more attractive to me than stateside peers like Verizon (NYSE:VZ) or AT&T (NYSE:T).

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Fool contributor Dave Mock just can't pass up a stick of beef jerky. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. The Fool's disclosure policy offers TV bricks for your viewing pleasure.