Connecting with Qwest's CEO

Edward Mueller discusses line losses, the company's falling stock price, and the prospect it has become takeover bait

Qwest Communications International (Q), the oft-forgotten Baby Bell that's still the dominant phone service provider in 14 Western states, has seen better times. A sharp stock decline since last autumn has left Qwest's shares at their lowest level since late 2005. And on May 6, the company reported its first-quarter profit slid 35% to $157 million compared with the same period a year earlier, missing analysts' forecasts.

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