Shenandoah Telecommunications Company ( SHEN)

Q3 2010 Earnings Conference Call

November 4, 2010 10:00 AM ET


Adele Skolits – CFO, VP - Finance, Treasurer

Christopher French – President and CEO

Earle MacKenzie – COO and EVP


Ric Prentiss – Raymond James

Barry Sine – CapStone Investments

Rick Burns – Sidoti & Co.



Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Shenandoah Telecommunications Third Quarter of 2010 Earnings Conference Call. Today’s conference is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Ms. Adele Skolits, CFO. Please go ahead ma’am.

Adele Skolits

Good morning and thank you for joining us. The purpose of today’s call is to review Shentel’s results for the quarter ended September 30th, 2010.

Our results were announced in a press release and a Q distributed yesterday evening and the presentation we’ll be reviewing is included on our website at Please note that a replay of the call will be made available later today. The details were set forth in the press release announcing this call.

With us on the call today are Christopher French, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Earle MacKenzie, our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. After our prepared remarks, we’ll conduct a question-and-answer session.

I’ll begin on slide two of the presentation. While we don’t provide guidance with respect to specific future financial results, we caution that this call may contain forward-looking statements, which involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These may cause our actual results to differ materially from these statements.

Shentel provides a detailed discussion of various risk factors in our SEC filings, which you are strongly encouraged to review. You’re cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.

Also, in an effort to provide useful information to investors, we note on slide three that our comments today include non-GAAP financial measures. Details on these measures, including why we use them and reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures, are included in our SEC filings.

I’ll turn the call over to Chris now.

Christopher French

Thank you, Adele. We appreciate everyone joining us this morning.

We had a great third quarter both in terms of customer growth and in terms of our strategic initiatives to expand our cable business and continued wireless growth. Slide 5 lists some of these highlights.

As we discussed on last earnings call, we closed on the acquisition of JetBroadband on July 30th. At close, the JetBroadband network passed approximately 115,000 homes and had approximately 66,000 revenue generating units for RGUs. In early October, we announced execution of an agreement to acquire two markets from Suddenlink in Salem, West Virginia and Oakland, Maryland, passing more than 7,000 homes and including 3,900 RGUs.

In our wireless segment, in early July we signed an amendment to our current contract with Sprint Nextel to allow Shentel to sell Virgin Mobile and Boost prepaid wireless services. These prepaid products and services became available on the Shentel Wireless service area through Sprint stores owned by Shentel as well as hundreds of other outlets. As part of this deal, we also acquired approximately 50,000 existing Virgin mobile customers in our wireless service area.

Operating results in our cable segment show we are being successful in adding services and increasing customers and revenues. Highlights of the accomplishments in this segment are shown on Slide 6.

We recently moved the JetBroadband customers to our existing billing platform and have integrated our management of the field workforce and customer care call centers serving these systems. In the existing pre-Jet markets, we were pleased with the 8% increase in RGUs during the quarter. These results are driven by a substantial progress we have made in expanding and improving services in this segment. Voice services are now available to 76% and high-speed Internet is available to nearly 88% of acquired homes passed.

Wireless segment highlights are shown on Slide 7. On top of the acquired customer base, prepaid customers grew by nearly 6,300 in the third quarter. Postpaid wireless PCS customers are up 5% from the year-ago. Continued growth was helped by churn of just 1.9% this quarter relative to 2.2% for the third quarter 2009. Like in the second quarter, we also began offering 3G/4G datacards and more recently handsets. This happened in conjunction with 4G services becoming available on our York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania markets. 4G capable devices are now among our top sellers.

Financial results on a consolidated basis shown on Slide 8 were impacted by closing related expenses and additional interest expense from our JetBroadband acquisition, and a net after-tax loss from our new prepaid business. During the quarter, we also recognized a one-time after-tax gain of $2.6 million on the sale of our telephone directory. We are reporting net income of $4 million for the quarter compared to $6.3 million from the third quarter of 2009. Net income from continuing operations was $4.2 million for the quarter as compared to $6.3 million in the same quarter of last year. Adele will review the financial results in more detail in a moment. We’ve still not reached agreement for the sale of our Converged Services business, although we continue to work with potential buyers. This process remains challenging, but we continue to expect that the sale will ultimately be achieved.

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