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NTELOS Holdings Corp. Reports Fourth Quarter And Year-End 2011 Operating Results

NTELOS Holdings Corp. (“the Company,” NASDAQ: NTLS), a leading regional provider of nationwide wireless voice and data communications services with operations in Virginia, West Virginia, and portions of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland and North Carolina, today announced operating results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2011.

Fourth Quarter Highlights

  • Sprint wholesale revenues for the fourth quarter 2011 increased almost 30% to $37.9 million compared to $29.2 million for the same period in 2010;
  • Subscriber churn for the fourth quarter 2011 improved to 3.4% compared to 3.5% for the same period in 2010;
  • Net subscriber losses for the fourth quarter 2011 were (500) compared to (1,300) for the same period in 2010; and
  • Data ARPU for the fourth quarter 2011 increased 28% to $17.36 from $13.56 for the same period of 2010.

“Fourth quarter results reflect positively on the continued strength of our Sprint wholesale business, combined with quantifiable improvements in our retail operations. I am extremely encouraged by the increased competitiveness of our retail distribution model, which experienced favorable growth of prepay subscribers and a significant reduction in postpaid subscriber net losses during the quarter, especially when compared to the past few quarters,” noted James A. Hyde, CEO of NTELOS Holdings Corp.

Highlights from Continued Operations

  • Operating revenues for the fourth quarter 2011 were $106.0 million, up 3% from the fourth quarter 2010. Operating revenues for the year 2011 were $422.6 million, up 4% compared to the year 2010. The increase in operating revenues in both periods was primarily due to an increase in Sprint wholesale revenues offsetting a decline in retail revenues.
  • Retail revenues, which includes subscriber and equipment revenues, were $66.3 million for the fourth quarter 2011 compared to $71.5 million for fourth quarter 2010. Retail revenues for the year 2011 were $278.1 million compared to $289.3 million for the year 2010.
  • Wholesale and Other revenues, primarily driven by the Company’s Strategic Network Alliance with Sprint, increased 28% to $39.6 million for the fourth quarter 2011 compared to $31.0 million for the fourth quarter 2010. Wholesale and Other revenues for the year 2011 were $144.5 million, a 23% increase over $117.5 million for the year 2010.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $34.0 million for the fourth quarter 2011 compared to $34.0 million for the fourth quarter 2010. Adjusted EBITDA was $143.1 million for the year 2011 compared to $142.1 million for the year 2010.
  • Income from Continuing Operations, less Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests, was $4.3 million, or $0.21 per basic share, for fourth quarter of 2011 compared to $4.9 million, or $0.23 per basic share, in the same period in 2010. Net Income from Continuing Operations, less Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests, was $21.7 million, or $1.04 per basic share, for the year 2011 compared to $27.9 million, or $1.35 per basic share, for the year 2010.

Total Subscribers

  • Total subscribers were 414,500 as of December 31, 2011, essentially flat with 415,000 at the end of Q3 2011.
  • Total gross additions for the fourth quarter were 41,600 compared to 44,200 in the same period of 2010. Total net subscriber losses for the fourth quarter were (500) compared to (1,300) for the same period in 2010.
  • Total gross additions for 2011 were 158,100 compared to 164,600 in 2010. Total net subscriber losses for the year 2011 were (17,900) compared to (6,100) for 2010.

Postpay Subscribers

  • Postpay subscriber gross additions for fourth quarter were 20,700, a 3% decrease from the fourth quarter 2010 and a 25% increase from third quarter 2011. The improvement in the fourth quarter 2011 compared to the third quarter 2011 was the combination of the Company’s improved retail store experience, increased focus on indirect points of distribution and consistent and improved messaging around the competitiveness of the Company’s offerings.
  • Net postpay subscriber losses were (1,900) for the fourth quarter 2011, compared to an increase of 1,000 for the fourth quarter 2010 and a decrease of (6,400) for the third quarter 2011.
  • At year end, total postpay subscribers were 292,400.

Prepay Subscribers

  • Prepay subscriber gross additions for fourth quarter were 20,900, compared to 22,900 for the fourth quarter 2010 and 20,000 for third quarter 2011. The improved quarter-over-quarter results for the fourth quarter 2011 were primarily due to the continued success of the Company’s $45 per month, all-inclusive rate plan introduced in June 2011, which eliminated a competitive pricing disadvantage and, through anticipated churn reductions, potentially enhances lifetime revenues.
  • Net prepay subscriber additions were 1,400 for the fourth quarter 2011, compared to a decrease of (2,300) in the fourth quarter 2010 and a decrease of (3,400) for the third quarter 2011.
  • At year end, total prepay subscribers were 122,100.

Mr. Hyde continued, “The strength of our combined wholesale and retail models continues to gain momentum. Our relationship with Sprint has never been stronger, driven in part by Sprint’s own subscriber growth, improved smartphone penetration and commensurate data ARPU increases. Similarly, the improved subscriber experience at our upgraded retail locations, combined with simple and competitively priced voice and data plans and a commitment to superior customer service, bodes well for the continued success of NTELOS within our operational footprint.”

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