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Windstream 1Q Profit Jumps 54% on Robust Sales Growth

Windstream (WIN) more than doubled its first-quarter profit and topped Wall Street expectations on Thursday, as sales continued to improve in its business and consumer broadband service groups.

The Little Rock, Ark.-based telecommunications and cloud computing company reported net income of $64.6 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier $29.4 million, or 6 cents.

Excluding merger and other one-time costs, Windstream said it earned 13 cents, a penny below average analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three-month period climbed 51% to $1.55 billion, just missing the Street’s view of $1.56 billion. The gains were led by sales growth of 3.2% and 5.9% in its business and consumer broadband services, respectively, which together make up about 68% of   Windstream’s total revenues.

"Our business and consumer channels delivered a strong performance during the first quarter," Windstream CEO Jeff Gardner said in a statement.

The business channel, which saw revenues growth to $897 million during the quarter, gained traction with the acquisition of Paetec Holding, while consumer sales, which grew to $338 million, were boosted on new demand for its broadband services.

Windstream, which was formed in 2006 from the spin-off of Alltel Corp.’s landline business and Valor Communications, has focused on expanding its broadband reach through acquisitions.

Follow Jennifer Booton on Twitter at @Jbooton