* Q4 Shr $0.06 vs Wall St. estimates $0.08
* Q4 Rev fell 9.7 pct to $3 bln vs Wall St view $3.02 bln
* Sees 2010 EBITDA $4.3 bln-$4.4 bln
* Shares up 1.6 pct in premarket trade (Recasts, adds guidance, share price update)
NEW YORK, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Qwest Communications International Inc’s Q.N quarterly profit fell as customers disconnected their home phones but the company’s outlook for the full year beat Wall Street estimates.
Shares of Qwest, which serves 14 states mostly in the Western United States, rose 1.6 percent in premarket trade after it forecast 2010 adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $4.3 billion to $4.4 billion.
On average analysts had expected $4.16 billion EBITDA, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
“The guidance for 2010 was much better than expected. I think it’s just relentless focus on cost control,” said Hudson Square Research analyst Todd Rethemeier who had expected 2010 EBITDA of $4 billion.
Qwest said employee numbers were down 4 percent at 30,100 at the end of the quarter compared with the third quarter.
Qwest posted a profit of $108 million, or 6 cents per share compared with a profit of $177 million, or 10 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier.
On average, Wall St. analysts were expecting earnings of 8 cents per share according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 9.7 percent to $3.0 billion and compared with the average analyst estimate for $3.02 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Qwest said its revenue decline would slow throughout the year, reaching a decline in the low-to-mid single digit percentage range by the fourth quarter of 2010.
It forecast 2010 adjusted free cash flow of $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion and laid out a budget of $1.7 billion or lower for full-year capital spending.
Qwest shares rose to $4.50 in early trade after closing at $4.43 in the regular New York Stock Exchange session. (Reporting by Franklin Paul and Sinead Carew; Editing by Derek Caney, Dave Zimmerman)