CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 08, 2018 • 05:00 pm ET


CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Welcome to the CenturyLink Third Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. During the presentation all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instruction)

As a reminder, this conference is being recorded, Thursday, November 8, 2018. I would now like to turn the conference over to Valerie Finberg, VP of IR for CenturyLink. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Valerie Finberg

Thank you, Melody. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us for the CenturyLink third quarter 2018 earnings call. With us on the call today are Jeff Storey, President and CEO; and Neel Dev, EVP, and CFO. Unless otherwise noted, prior periods are provided on a pro forma basis, assuming both the sales of the legacy CenturyLink data centers and colocation business and the acquisition of Level 3 occurred as of January 1, 2017. Adjusted EBITDA, capital expenditures, free cash flow and net debt to adjusted EBITDA discussed on the call today exclude integration-related expense and other items as noted in our earnings materials.

All of our supplemental earnings materials, including the presentation we will review on the call can be found in the Investor Relations section of the CenturyLink website at ir.centurylink.com. (Forward-looking Cautionary Statements) Finally, the reconciliation of our non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measures can be found on our Investor Relations website.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Jeff.

Jeff Storey

Thank you, Valerie and thanks everyone for joining us on the call today. A week ago today marks the one-year anniversary of CenturyLink's acquisition of Level 3. To-date, we are pleased with our integration progress. On our third quarter's earnings call last year, which was just a few days after the acquisition closed, I told you that the combined company is focused on a few things profitable revenue growth, operational excellence to reduce costs and drive a great customer experience and increasing free cash flow per share. We make good strides in all of these objectives over the last year. You can certainly see the benefits of our initiatives to reduce costs and increase free cash flow per share and our strong synergy achievement, margin expansion and continued growth in adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.

I believe these results demonstrate the value of the acquisition. We are very focused on operating the business with discipline and efficiency and you'll continue to see us focus on expanding margins and growing the bottom line. Additionally, with our focus on profitable revenue, we've taken a hard look at the business and stopped certain product lines, exited unprofitable contracts and changed our approach to how we sell things like CPE. While these decisions negatively affect revenue, they are the right decisions for the business to drive growth in adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.

We've made a great deal of integration progress this year, combining networks and systems, improving how we interface with our customers and making it easier for our employees to do their jobs. While we still have more integration