NEW YORK - Windstream Corp on Monday posted a deeper than expected fall in quarterly profit and revenue, even as the telephone operator reported the lowest number of customer disconnections since its formation in 2006.

Windstream's profit fell 24 percent to $80 million or 18 cents per share from $105.9 million or 24 cents per share a year earlier.

Excluding unusual items, Windstream would have earned 19 cents per share compared with the average analyst expectation of 21 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell to $734.3 million from $794.1 million, and compared with Wall Street expectations for $747.0 million.

Windstream shares fell 1.75 percent to $10.10 in premarket trade after closing at $10.28 in regular New York Stock Exchange trade on Friday. (Reporting by Sinead Carew, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)