Qwest says it has enough revenue to cover debt

Qwest sees the Networx telecommunications contract as one of a number of catalysts for revenue growth that will help the company improve its financial situation over the long run, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The Denver company views its debt maturities profile as "manageable," Chief Financial Officer Joseph Euteneuer told analysts Nov. 21. He assured them that the company was generating sufficient free cash and had enough mechanisms in place to cover its debt.

A focus of concern is that Qwest has $1.27 billion in convertible debt due November 2010. Qwest prefers to use its free cash flow to pay down the debt, rather than repurchasing stock, Euteneuer said.

Networx might pay off for the company as a long-term catalyst for revenue growth, Euteneuer said. But contract signings have been slow because of the presidential transition, he said, and the company isn't counting on a significant contribution from Networx in 2009.

Qwest ranks No. 51 on Washington Technology's 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

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