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Qwest Reports Jump In Earnings, Loss Narrows

Qwest Communications International Inc. narrowed its third-quarter loss thanks to a four-fold increase in revenue and strong growth across all of its key sectors.

Despite strong revenue growth, higher network and construction costs resulted in a loss of $5 million, or 2 cents a share, in the quarter compared to a profit of $12.8 million, or 6 cents a share, a year ago.

Those results beat analysts' expectations of a 6-cent loss, according to First Call Research Network which tracks such forecasts.

Denver-based Qwest provides a variety of communications services to telephone companies, businesses and consumers and also builds and installs fiber optic networks.

Revenue more than quadrupled to $806.8 million from $189 million in 1997's third quarter.

For the first nine months of 1998, Qwest lost $888.1 million, or $3.42 a share, compared to a profit of $2.3 million, or 1 cent a share, in 1997.

Qwest Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Robert Woodruff said strong growth will continue to drive the company's results.

"While Qwest makes progress on its network construction, invests for future growth and successfully integrates its recent acquisitions, the company continues to realize improve (pre-tax earnings) and revenue," he said.