Shenandoah Telecommunications Co. ( SHEN)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

November 7, 2011 10:00 AM ET

Executives

Adele Skolits – Chief Financial Officer

Christopher French – President and CEO

Earle MacKenzie – Executive Vice President and COO

Willi Pirtle – Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Analysts

Rick Prentiss – Raymond James

Barry Sine – Drexel Hamilton

Greg Burns – Sidoti

Will Lauber – Sterling Capital Management

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, everyone. And welcome to Shenandoah Telecommunications’ Third Quarter of 2011 Earnings Conference Call. Today’s call is being recorded.

At this time, I’d 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 30, 2011. Our results were announced in the press release distributed this morning 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 the press release announcing this call.

With us on the call today are Christopher French, our President and Chief Executive Officer; Earle MacKenzie, our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; and Willi Pirtle, our Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Willi will be reviewing our operating results and our prepared remarks, while Earle who is a bit under the weather save his voice for the Q&A. After our prepared remarks, we’ll conduct a question-and-answer session.

I’ll begin with 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 are strongly encouraged to review. You are 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 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. Highlights for this quarter were again led by our wireless segment and we continued moving forward with our upgrade projects in our acquired cable properties.

Slide five, list the highlights of the results in our wireless segment. We again had positive net wireless additions in both our postpaid and prepaid services, with the number of total customers up 3% in this quarter and up 13% over the year end 2010 number. Prepaid contributed nearly 72% of the net customer growth, adding nearly 7,000 net customers this quarter. Since we began offering prepaid in June of 2010, we have added over 48,000 net customers. We also had solid growth in postpaid adding over 2,700 net customers.

Operating income in our wireless segment increased by $3.7 million, a 40% increase over third quarter 2010.

Specific cable segment highlights are shown on slide six. The total number of revenue generating units rose to 136,000 at September 30th. The segment had gains in all three offerings of video, high-speed Internet and voice.

Major upgrades in the markets we acquired from JetBroadband began in April of this year and continued in the third quarter. We have now completed upgrades to approximately 25% of the homes passed by these systems and will continue with upgrades the rest of this year and into 2012.

Financial results on a consolidated basis shown on slide seven are still being negatively impacted by the significant costs associated with depreciation and amortization on the acquired businesses. We’re reporting net income of $3 million for the quarter, compared to $4 million from the third quarter of 2010. Despite the impact to current earnings, we continue to believe our cable acquisitions and our entry into prepaid will result in long-term growth of shareholder value.

Since the end of the quarter, our Board of Directors had declared a cash dividend of $0.33 per share which will be paid on December 1st. This is our 52nd consecutive year of paying an annual dividend.

We’ve been having productive discussions with Sprint Nextel regarding our participation in their network modernization plan known as Network Vision. We have made good progress towards a mutually beneficial arrangement and expect to be able to make an appropriate announcement prior to the end of the year.

Finally, the company recently executed two asset purchase agreements to sell certain convert services properties to two buyers for a total of $4.7 million. The company just closed on the sale of some of these properties as receiving $2.2 million upfront, with two additional closings expected in the next 60 to 90 days, following receipt of consents necessary for the transfer of the properties. Since the sale price approximated the net carrying value on these properties, we do not expect to record a gain or loss. The company continues to negotiate with purchasers on the remaining convert services properties.

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

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