AUSWR
The Association of U S West Retirees
 

 

 

Qwest dividend may be on way
It would be the first for the firm since 2002.  CEO Mueller is set to disclose his strategic plan soon.
By Andy Vuong
Denver Post
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Qwest chief executive Ed Mueller is expected to disclose by Monday his much-anticipated strategic plan, which should include the announcement of a dividend, according to a Wall Street analyst.

In a research note sent to investors Tuesday, JP Morgan analyst Jonathan Chaplin said he expects Qwest to initiate a dividend of at least 29 cents a share.

It would mark the first time since 2002 that Qwest has issued a dividend.

Mueller is scheduled to meet with Qwest's board of directors Thursday to discuss and receive approval for the strategic plan, Chaplin said in the note:  "We expect the company to issue a press release on Thursday of this week at the earliest or next Monday at the latest."

Qwest spokeswoman Diane Reberger declined to comment on Chaplin's note.

Analysts had anticipated a dividend announcement during the Denver-based company's third-quarter earnings call in October.  Mueller told The Denver Post in November that he wanted to complete the strategic review before disclosing what the company would do with its cash.

As of Sept. 30, Qwest had about $1.1 billion in cash.

Mueller, who succeeded former Qwest CEO Dick Notebaert in August, said in the interview the he would announce a plan by the end of the year.

Chaplin expects Mueller to outline Qwest's revenue-growth expectations and capital expenditures for 2008.

Qwest stock closed Tuesday at $7.23 a share, up 8 cents.

Andy Vuong: 303-954-1209 or avuong@denverpost.com

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_7695807