Windstream's quarterly earnings rise

With sales boosted by acquisitions, Lexington telephone operator Windstream announced a rise in first-quarter earnings Thursday.

The company generated $1.55 billion in sales in the quarter, up 51 percent from $1.02 billion for the same period in 2011. Net income jumped to $64.6 million, or 11 cents a share, from $29.4 million, or 6 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

The company continued its shift toward focusing on business revenues and broadband for consumers, as it seeks to expand from its past reliance on land-line telephone access. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Windstream completed its acquisition of PAETEC, a business-focused company with more than 36,000 miles of fiber and seven data centers.

"The business channel has gained significant traction with the acquisition of PAETEC, and our combined team is having tremendous success driving new sales opportunities," chief executive Jeff Gardner said in a statement.

Had Windstream owned its newest businesses at this time last year, overall quarterly revenue would have declined 0.5 percent year over year.