Omaha-based West Corp. 2nd quarter profit rises 19 percent

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Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 12:00 am

West Corp. said Wednesday that second-quarter profit rose 19 percent on lower interest costs from paying down debt with March’s IPO proceeds.

The Omaha-based operator of telephone call centers and provider of corporate technology services said in a statement that net income was $43.7 million, up from $36.7 million a year earlier. Revenue was little changed at $672.7 million.

The company, which also supplies the software that makes 911 emergency switchboards work, raised about $425 million with the initial public offering, the second in its corporate history.

The proceeds were used to help pay off $450 million of debt. A buyout by private investment partnerships took the company private in 2006.

"We are pleased to report another quarter of solid operating results," said Chief Executive Tom Barker. "Debt reduction and lower interest rates on our term debt combined with improvement in selling, general and administrative expenses improved profitability for the quarter."

West employs about 3,700 people in the metro area and about 37,500 worldwide, answering and making telephone calls for other companies, working for a debt-collection subsidiary and providing corporate IT functions such as cloud computing.

Adjusted earnings per share were 71 cents; the figure is not an apples-to-apples comparison to the year-earlier’s 81 cents a share because the IPO increased shares-outstanding by 21.3 million.

Shares of West began trading after the IPO at $20 and closed at $21.96 Wednesday, for a 9.8 percent increase year-to-date.

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