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Qwest CEO Notebaert Discusses Company's Future

Richard Notebaert
Richard Notebaert

A previous version of this story did not fairly characterize comments made by Richard Notebaert. A revised version is below.

Dick Notebaert, the top boss at Qwest Communications International, commented on the telecom firm's future in an appearance on CNBC's "Street Signs" on Thursday.

"You learn very early on not to make predictions, so we'll see how everything plays out," Notebaert said, in response to what the company's status would be in a year's time.

"We can be an acquirer or we can be acquired. It could go both ways," he said.

Notebaert declined to comment in response to a question posed by CNBC's Erin Burnett as to whether he has spoken with AT&T chief exec Ed Whitacre regarding a potential deal.

"Talking about deals, M&A, we don't talk about that too much, that wouldn't be right," said Notebaert. "We'll just leave that one on the table."

Last week, Qwest reported fourth-quarter earnings of 10 cents a share, compared with the Thomson Financial consensus estimate of 8 cents.

During the company's conference call with analysts on Feb. 8, the chief executive said the company remains on the lookout for logical acquisition candidates.

"If we can find some more bolt on acquisitions that makes sense for the shareholders to reduce our costs, we will give that serious consideration," Notebaert said.

Notebaert was in Naples, Fla. attending a meeting of the The Business Council, an elite group of CEOs at the top U.S. corporations, including American Express, Dell, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon as well as CNBC parent General Electric.