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CenturyLink Climbs After Profit Forecast Exceeds Estimates

CenturyLink Inc., the Louisiana phone company that has expanded through acquisitions, climbed after forecasting profit that may exceed analysts’ estimates after purchases bolstered sales growth.

Profit excluding certain items will rise to 58 cents to 62 cents a share this quarter, Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink said in a statement yesterday. That topped 34 cents, the average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

CenturyLink rose 4 percent to $35.93 at 9:36 New York time and had lost 25 percent this year before today.

The company has bulked up by spending $38 billion in less than three years on acquisitions, including Qwest Communications International Inc., a regional phone company; Savvis Inc., a data-hosting and application-services provider; and telecommunications-services provider Embarq Corp.

“We continue to make good progress with the Embarq, Qwest and Savvis integrations,” Chief Executive Officer Glen Post said in the statement.

Sales more than doubled to $4.6 billion last quarter from $1.75 billion a year earlier. Net income fell 40 percent to $140 million, or 23 cents a share, from $232 million a year earlier.

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