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US West tops 2Q estimates

US West (NYSE: USW) said Friday second-quarter earnings were 83 cents a share, above First Call's prediction of 81 cents a share, and up 7 cents or 9.2 percent from last year's second quarter.

Shares fell 1/8 to 57 7/16 Friday morning.

Revenue growth increased to 6.7 percent during the quarter, driven by the company's PCS, data and Internet-related services. Operating Revenue was $3.26 billion, versus $3.05 billion in the previous year's second quarter. Expenses also fell to 7.3 percent, from a first-quarter growth rate of 8.9 percent.

As announced earlier this week, US West has entered into a merger agreement with Qwest Communications International (Nasdaq: QWST).

"In addition to announcing our merger with Qwest, we've also announced quarterly results that show clear operational momentum. And the strength of those results underscores our desire to link up with a partner that can help broaden the scale and scope of our offerings," said Sol Trujillo, president and CEO in a company release.

The total number of subscribers for the company's PCS, DSL and Internet access service increased by more than 100,000 for the quarter, almost double that of last year's quarter, to 550,000.

Ten out of 24 analysts covering the stock rate it a hold according to Zacks Investment Research.