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Qwest Considers Restating 2001 Results

Telecom: Such an action reportedly could reduce revenue by more than $1billion. Company declines to comment.

July 13, 2002|From Associated Press

DENVER — Qwest Communications International Inc. is considering restating its 2001 financial results, which could reduce revenue by more than $1 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Richard Notebaert, Qwest's new chairman and chief executive, hasn't made a final decision yet, the newspaper reported on its Web site Friday.

Analysts believe a restatement is likely, the Journal reported.

A spokesman for the Denver-based phone company declined to comment on the report.

"Right now we're not in a position to discuss the speculation," said Steve Hammack.

He cited the "quiet period" required just before release of the company's quarterly results.

Federal regulators are investigating Qwest's accounting practices. The U.S. attorney's office in Denver also has begun a criminal investigation of Qwest.

Prosecutors haven't revealed the nature of the inquiry.

In addition to the investigations, Qwest has seen its debt balloon to $26 billion, its long-term credit rating drop from investment grade to "junk," and its stock price plummet.

To boost revenue, the company solicited bids for its Qwest Dex phone directory and wireless businesses, which Qwest values at more than $10 billion. Friday was the deadline for bids, but company officials declined to disclose the number and size of bids offered.

Qwest is the local phone company for 14 states extending from Minnesota west to Washington and southwest to Arizona and New Mexico.

The company on Friday filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to offer long-distance service in Washington, Utah, Montana and Wyoming.

Qwest shares closed up 6 cents at $1.93 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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