Shenandoah Telecommunications Co ( SHEN)

Q1 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

May 6, 2011, 10:00 am ET

Executives

Adele Skolits - CFO, VP of Finance

Christopher French - President CEO

Earle MacKenzie - EVP, COO

Analysts

Ric Prentiss - Raymond James

Greg Burns - Sidoti & Company

Will Lauber - Sterling Capital

Presentations

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Shenandoah Telecommunications first quarter earnings conference call. At this time, all lines are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time. (Operator Instructions).

As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host today, Adele Skolits, CFO. Please begin.

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 March 31, 2101.

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

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 of 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. I'm pleased to report that we had a great first quarter with growth in all of our business segments in terms of our customers and revenues. Slide 5 lists some of these highlights.

We again had positive net wireless additions in both our postpaid and prepaid services with the number of total customers up 5% over the year-end 2010 number. Prepaid contributed over 80% of the net customer growth adding over 13,000 net customers.

Since we began offering prepaid products in June we have added over 30,000 net customers. We also had solid growth in postpaid, adding over 3000 net customers. Our cable segment continued to add RGUs as we increased our service penetration levels. We ended the quarter with 130,700 cable segment RGUs.

Specific cable segment highlights are shown on slide 6. Our cable segment total RGUs increased by 2438 in the first quarter, an increase of nearly 2% over the year-end 2010 total. We experienced a slight decrease in basic video RGUs bu good increases in digital video, high-speed internet and voice services.

Major upgrades in the recently- acquired JetBroadband markets just began in April and we expect to continue increasing penetration levels as we make further service improvements. Wireless segment highlights are shown on slide 7.

Prepaid customers grew by 13,287 in the first quarter to a total of 80,243. Postpaid wireless PCS customers are up by 6% since March 31, 2010. Continued postpaid growth was helped by churn of just 1.8% this quarter relative to 1.9% for the first quarter 2010.

Financial results on a consolidated business, as shown on slide 8, were negatively impacted by significant costs associated with acquiring new prepaid and cable customers. We're reporting net income of $3 million for the quarter compared to $6.8 million from the first quarter of 2010.

Net income from continuing operations was $3.1 million for the quarter as compared to $6.6 million in the same quarter of last year. We continue to believe our cable acquisitions and our entry into prepaid represent great opportunities for us to create long-term growth and shareholder value.

We continue to work with potential buyers on the sale of our converged services business. We recently closed on the sale of five properties from this business for $1 million, which approximate the carrying value of the assets sold. We're continuing our efforts to sell the remaining properties.

I'll now turn the call back to Adele to review the details of our financial results.

Adele Skolits

Thank you, Chris. I'll begin on slide 10. Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization, or OIBDA, for Q1 '11 was $21.3 million or up $1.4 million from Q1 2010. In order to better understand the forces driving this change, I have provided the OIBDA results by segment on slide 11.

Here you get a picture of the segment's results and how they're contributing to the consolidated financial results. In a moment, I'll go into the wireless and cable OIBDA changes in depth. What you see from this table is that adjusted wireless OIBDA has held steady despite the significant incremental costs associated with acquiring prepaid customers.

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