Atlantic Tele-Network Misses Estimates

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On March 4, 2009, Atlantic Tele-Network ( ATNI) reported a 47.7% plunge in its Q4 FY08 earnings as the year-ago quarter recorded $5.04 million gain on disposition of long lived assets. Net income plummeted to $6.59 million or $0.43 per share from $12.59 million or $0.82 per share, missing the consensus estimate of $0.66 per share.

Total revenue increased 11.7% year-over-year to $55.39 million from $49.57 million. Segment-wise, Wireless revenue improved 31.8% to $30.04 million due to the consolidation of Bermuda Digital Communications and $1.90 million revenue growth in the company's U.S. rural wireless business. However, in Guyana, wireless revenue decreased by $0.70 million, as increased competition led to a 24.4% slump in the company's wireless customer base to 248,000 subscribers at the end of the fiscal year. Additionally, Local Telephone and Data revenue advanced 7.2% to $13.35 million. In Sovernet, revenue soared 24.3% to $4.60 million due to its acquisition of ION. The Guyana subsidiary's revenue increased slightly due to a 5.3% increase of access lines to 139,000. Furthermore, International Long Distance revenue fell 16.8% to $11.08 million, hurt by rising illegal bypass activities and an overall reduction in call volume into Guyana due to the current economic slowdown. Additionally, Other revenues decreased 7.7% to $920,000.

During Q4 FY08, ATNI's U.S. rural wireless business, Commnet Wireless LLC, acquired the wireless network assets of CC Communications. In addition, ATNI's subsidiary Bermuda Digital Communications Ltd. purchased a strategic stake in Islandcom Telecommunications. Recently, the company paid a quarterly dividend of $0.18 per share.

During FY08, net profit slipped 8.3% to $34.80 million or $2.28 per share from $37.94 million or $2.48 per share in FY07. Annual revenue increased 11.0% to $207.34 million from $186.74 million.

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