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2018 Third Quarter Results

Posted 6 November 2018 9:22 AM by sitecore

EDINBURG, Va., November 6, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (“Shentel”) (NASDAQ: SHEN) announces financial and operating results for the three months ended September 30, 2018.

Third Quarter Results

Consolidated

Net income for the three months ended September 30, 2018 was $15.5 million, or $0.31 per share, compared with net income of $3.5 million, or $0.07 per share, in the third quarter of 2017. Effective January 1, 2018, the Company adopted the new revenue recognition standard (Topic 606) that requires the Company to record costs such as commissions for the national sales channel that are settled separately with Sprint as reductions of revenue. Previously these costs were recorded in costs of goods and services and in selling, general and administrative expense. Excluding the impact of adopting Topic 606, third quarter net income was $11.8 million, or $0.24 per basic share, due to the deferral of certain commissions and device costs as required by the new revenue recognition standard.

Operating revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2018 was $158.7 million, representing a year-over-year increase of 4.6%, compared with $151.8 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017. Excluding the impact of adopting Topic 606, total operating revenue increased approximately $11.5 million, or 7.6%, driven by Wireless and Cable operations.

Operating expenses for the third quarter of 2018 were $130.4 million, compared with $142.3 million for the equivalent quarter in the prior year. Excluding the impact of adopting Topic 606, operating expenses decreased approximately $2.2 million, or 1.6% due to the absence of acquisition and integration costs related to the prior year nTelos integration, and a decrease in depreciation and amortization as assets acquired in the nTelos acquisition were retired. These declines were partially offset by increases in network and selling costs associated with the continued expansion of our networks to support the increased demand from the growing subscriber base.

Operating income increased 199.0% in the third quarter of 2018 to $28.3 million from $9.5 million in the equivalent quarter of the prior year. Excluding the impact of adopting Topic 606, operating income increased approximately $13.7 million, or 144.8%.

Adjusted OIBDA for the three months ended September 30, 2018 was $74.1 million, compared with $66.9 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017. Continuing OIBDA for the three months ended September 30, 2018 was $64.5 million, compared with $57.9 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017. The adoption of Topic 606 did not have an impact on Adjusted OIBDA.

Wireless

Wireless operating revenue increased $3.6 million, compared with the three months ended September 30, 2017. Excluding the impact of Topic 606, wireless operating income increased 233%. The increase was driven by growth in postpaid and prepaid PCS subscribers, improvements in PCS average monthly churn for postpaid and prepaid, and was partially offset by a decline in postpaid average revenue per subscriber related to promotions and discounts.

Wireless operating expenses for the three months ended September 30, 2018 were $88.7 million, compared with $105.8 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017, a year over year decrease of 16.1%. Excluding the impact of adopting Topic 606, operating expenses decreased $7.6 million due to repricing Wireless backhaul circuits to market rates, migrating Wireless voice traffic from traditional circuit-switched facilities to more cost effective VoIP facilities, reducing back-office expenses that were required to support former nTelos subscribers that migrated to Sprint's back-office in 2017, and a reduction in acquisition, integration and migration expenses as the integration of the acquired nTelos business was completed during 2017.

Wireless Adjusted OIBDA for the three months ended September 30, 2018 was $62.6 million, compared with $54.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017. Wireless Continuing OIBDA for the three months ended September 30, 2018 was $53.0 million, compared with $45.2 million from the three months ended September 30, 2017.

Shentel served 785,537 wireless postpaid retail PCS subscribers as of September 30, 2018, an increase of 57,583 over the third quarter of 2017. Postpaid churn for the three months ended September 30, 2018, was 1.84%, compared with 2.19% for the three months ended September 30, 2017. The Company had net additions of 4,879 postpaid customers in the three months ended September 30, 2018, compared with net losses of 4,710 for the three months ended September 30, 2017. As of the three months ended September 30, 2018, tablets and data devices were 8.5% of the postpaid base.

Cable

Cable operating revenue for the third quarter of 2018 was $32.2 million, representing a year over year increase of 7.0% compared with $30.1 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017. The growth in Cable revenue was primarily due to increases in broadband and voice subscribers and video rate increases. The adoption of Topic 606 did not have a significant impact on Cable operating revenue.

Cable operating expenses for the third quarter of 2018 were $26.3 million, a year over year decrease of 0.4% compared with $26.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017. The decrease was driven by a decline in video operating expenses. The Company lost 3,286 video users while adding 3,647 broadband users and 849 voice users, since September 30, 2017.

Cable Adjusted OIBDA for the three months ended September 30, 2018 was $11.8 million, compared with $10.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2017.

Wireline

Wireline operating revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2018 was $19.6 million, compared with $19.9 million for the prior year third quarter. The decrease in operating revenues was primarily attributable to migrating Wireless backhaul circuits from traditional circuit-switched facilities to more cost effective Voice Over IP ("VoIP") facilities. The adoption of Topic 606 did not have a significant impact on Wireline operating revenue.

Wireline operating expenses for the three months ended September 30, 2018 were $14.5 million, compared with $14.8 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2017. This decrease was primarily attributable to a reduction in network costs.

Wireline Adjusted OIBDA for the three months ended September 30, 2018 was $8.5 million, compared with $8.4 million for the prior year equivalent quarter.

President and CEO Christopher E. French commented, "Throughout 2018, our focus has been on operational execution, particularly in terms of capitalizing on the competitive advantage provided by our state-of-the-art network and expanded wireless geographic area to drive distribution levels and activation rates in the markets we serve. Our third quarter results built upon the momentum established in the first half of the year, as characterized by solid consolidated revenue growth, triple digit increases in operating income, significantly enhanced net profitability and improved adjusted OIBDA.

“In the Wireless segment, we saw growth in both postpaid and prepaid customers and believe our continued success adding customers is directly related to our ability to provide consistent coverage, optimal capacity and excellent service. Our Cable segment showed continued progress as reflected in increased RGUs and 6% revenue growth. As consumer expectations for high speed bandwidth and reliable service intensify, growing marketplace recognition of Shentel’s ability to deliver those capabilities allows us to attract new customers while also meeting the needs of existing customers seeking upgraded service plans. The continued success and growth of our business relies on the satisfaction of our customers and we remain focused on providing reliable and robust network coverage and consistency across all offerings throughout our entire service footprint."

Network and Technology Highlights

Beginning in 2018, we began transitioning Wireless backhaul circuits from traditional circuit-switched facilities to VoIP facilities to reduce our overall network costs. We expect to complete the transition by year-end 2018.

Other Information

Capital expenditures were $92.3 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2018 compared with $109.4 million in the comparable 2017 period. Capital expenditures are expected to be between $145 million and $155 million for the full year 2018 depending on the timing of deliveries of equipment. Delays in equipment deliveries could shift spending into 2019.

Outstanding debt at September 30, 2018 totaled $778.8 million, net of unamortized loan costs, compared to $822.0 million as of December 31, 2017. As of September 30, 2018, no amounts were outstanding under the revolving line of credit. The total leverage ratio as of September 30, 2018 was 2.61.

We declared a cash dividend of $0.27 per share. The dividend is an increase of $0.01 per share or 3.8% over the 2017 dividend. The dividend will be payable November 30, 2018, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 12, 2018. The total payout to shareholders, before reinvestment, will be approximately $13.4 million. The Company has paid an annual dividend every year since 1960, when its predecessor Shenandoah Telephone Company declared its first dividend.

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