Embarq debuts at midnight

Sprint Nextel will officially spin off its local telephone division tonight at one minute before midnight.

The new company called Embarq will start trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday morning, and it will also join the S&P 500, replacing Applied Micro Circuits on the index. The new local phone company has a tough road ahead of it. The company has said that it expects to lose between 5.5 percent and 7.5 percent of its telephone access lines in 2006, largely because of competition from wireless and cable options. The company also expects revenue and profits to decline in its first year.

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