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FairPoint Communications Reports 2011 Second Quarter Results
Aug 08, 2011 (05:08 PM EDT)
Strong Quarter Financially and Operationally
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NasdaqCM: FRP) (FairPoint or the Company), a leading provider of communications services, today announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011. As previously announced, the Company will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast to discuss its results at 9:30 a.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011.
"Our momentum continues to build," said Paul H. Sunu, CEO of FairPoint. "We are pleased with the success our team is achieving on multiple fronts. Our operating and customer metrics continue to improve. Our regulatory environment is improving. We are meeting our network deployment commitments for the broadband and fiber-to-the-tower initiatives. These efforts are now making their way into the financial results."
High-speed Internet penetration increased to 28.3% of voice access lines at June 30, 2011, following the addition of more than 7,600 subscribers in the quarter. The Company surpassed 305,000 high-speed Internet subscribers in the quarter, reaching an all-time high. Company-wide, year-over-year voice access line loss slowed for the fifth consecutive quarter to 9.3%.
FairPoint ended the quarter with revenue of $262.6 million and Consolidated EBITDAR(1) of $70.5 million. The second quarter was favorably impacted by revenue assurance activities, including back-billing, and sustained improvements in service quality.
Operating and Regulatory Highlights
High-speed Internet subscriber growth accelerated to 5.4% year-over-year, compared to a 4.8% increase in the first quarter of 2011 and a 1.9% decline in the second quarter of 2010. FairPoint added 15,410 high-speed Internet subscribers in the first half of 2011, compared to approximately 140 in the second half of 2010.
Voice access line loss continued to slow as FairPoint lost approximately 22,700 lines in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to approximately 24,900 and approximately 29,100 in the first quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2010, respectively. As a result, the rate of voice access line loss slowed to 9.3% annually versus 9.6% in the first quarter of 2011 and 11.6% in the second quarter of 2010.
The FairPoint customer experience continues to improve. Sustained improvements in retail and wholesale service quality, along with a reversal of penalties accrued in earlier periods, benefited the second quarter of 2011. Retail and wholesale service quality penalties favorably affected revenue in the second quarter of 2011 by $3.4 million, compared to a reduction in revenue of $1.8 million and $3.3 million in the first quarter of 2011 and second quarter of 2010, respectively.
FairPoint continued its northern New England broadband expansion efforts during the quarter and announced the completion of its Vermont regulatory broadband commitment. With this latest achievement, FairPoint now offers high-speed Internet service to more than 83% of its customers in Maine, more than 85% of its customers in New Hampshire, nearly 90% of its customers in Vermont and more than 90% of its Telecom Group customers throughout the other 15 states in which FairPoint operates.
Earlier this year, FairPoint announced an initial network build that will bring fiber to more than half of the approximately 1,600 wireless communications towers the Company serves in its northern New England service footprint. As of June 30, 2011, fiber had been placed to more than 400 of these towers. The Company remains on track to meet its 2011 fiber build commitments.
On June 9, 2011, Gov. Paul LePage of Maine signed into law a bill directing the Maine Public Utilities Commission to develop a plan to reform telecommunications regulation in the state. The bill sets a state goal of creating a regulatory structure that ensures a level playing field for all telecommunications providers. FairPoint expects to benefit from this regulatory reform.
Second Quarter 2011 as compared to Second Quarter 2010
Revenue was $262.6 million in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to $271.6 million a year earlier. The decrease was primarily the result of a 9.3% decline in voice access lines year-over-year, which led to decreases in voice services and access revenue. Partially offsetting the decline were lower service quality penalties, the impact of revenue assurance activities, including back-billing, and a 3.1% increase in data and Internet services revenue.
Operating expenses, excluding depreciation, amortization and reorganization, were $202.8 million in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to $230.3 million a year earlier. The second quarter of 2010 was unfavorably impacted by a one-time project abandonment charge totaling $12.3 million, which was a Consolidated EBITDAR add-back. Excluding the impact from project abandonment, the favorable variance of $15.2 million, or 7.0%, was primarily the result of reductions in contracted services and data and voice transport costs.
Consolidated EBITDAR was $70.5 million in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to $72.3 million a year earlier. Consolidated EBITDAR for the second quarter of 2010 was favorably impacted by the add-back of $8.3 million related to the net effect of a financial restatement. Although the items related to the financial restatement may have been recurring in nature, FairPoint's credit facility allows the Company to add back the net effect on Consolidated EBITDAR from a financial restatement for any period before Jan. 24, 2011. Excluding the benefit from this financial restatement add-back, Consolidated EBITDAR for the second quarter of 2010 would have been $64.0 million. The $6.5 million favorable variance year-over-year is primarily explained by the operating expense reductions offset partially by the decline in revenue discussed above.
Net loss was $27.1 million in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to a net loss of $54.2 million a year earlier.
Capital expenditures were $52.1 million in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to $62.8 million a year earlier. FairPoint satisfied its regulatory commitment for broadband expansion in Vermont during the quarter. Major capital initiatives for the remainder of 2011 include the continued expansion of the VantagePoint(sm) network, the fiber-to-the-tower build, regulatory broadband commitments in Maine and New Hampshire, information technology improvements and enhancements, success-based capital projects for targeted revenue opportunities, and network and facilities maintenance.
Second Quarter 2011 as compared to First Quarter 2011
Revenue was $262.6 million in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to $254.8 million in the first quarter of 2011. The favorable variance is primarily attributable to the $5.2 million change in service quality penalties discussed above and revenue assurance activities, including back-billing, during the second quarter of 2011.
Operating expenses, excluding depreciation, amortization and reorganization, decreased $13.8 million to $202.8 million as compared to $216.6 million in the first quarter of 2011. The favorable variance is primarily attributable to the $13.5 million vacation accrual booked in the first quarter of 2011.
Consolidated EBITDAR increased $21.4 million to $70.5 million as compared to $49.1 million in the first quarter of 2011. The first quarter of 2011 was unfavorably impacted by the $13.5 million annual vacation expense. Adjusting for the vacation accrual, Consolidated EBITDAR increased $7.9 million versus the first quarter of 2011, which was primarily the result of the revenue increase described above.
Capital expenditures were $52.1 million in the second quarter of 2011 as compared to $53.7 million in the first quarter of 2011.
FairPoint's cash position remained stable at $13.1 million at the end of the second quarter of 2011 as compared to $15.4 million at the end of the first quarter of 2011. The Company has not drawn on its $75 million revolving credit facility and as of June 30, 2011, it had $63.0 million available for borrowing, net of $12.0 million outstanding letters of credit.
The Company previously provided Consolidated EBITDAR guidance of $260 million to $280 million and remains comfortable with that range.
For purposes of calculating Consolidated EBITDAR, FairPoint adds back pension expense net of any cash contributions. As previously disclosed, FairPoint expects to contribute approximately $6.8 million to its company-sponsored employee pension plan during the third quarter of 2011.
The information in this press release should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and footnotes contained in the Company's quarterly report for the quarter ended June 30, 2011, which will be filed with the SEC on or prior to Aug. 15, 2011. The Company's results for the quarter ended June 30, 2011, are subject to the completion of its quarterly report for such period.
Fresh Start Accounting
On Jan. 24, 2011, the Company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and its Plan of Reorganization became effective. For purposes of generally accepted accounting principles, the Company adopted fresh start accounting as of Jan. 24, 2011, whereby the Company's assets and liabilities were marked to their fair value as of the date of emergence. Accordingly, the Company's condensed consolidated statements of financial position and operations for periods after Jan. 24, 2011, will not be comparable in many respects to periods prior to the adoption of fresh start accounting.
Conference Call Information
As previously announced, FairPoint will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast to discuss its second quarter 2011 results at 9:30 a.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011.
Participants should call (866) 314-5232 (US/Canada) or (617) 213-8052 (international) at 9:20 a.m. (EDT) and enter the passcode 53808235 when prompted. The title of the call is the Q2 2011 FairPoint Communications, Inc. Earnings Conference Call.
A telephonic replay will be available for anyone unable to participate in the live call. To access the replay, call (888) 286-8010 (US/Canada) or (617) 801-6888 (international) and enter the passcode 70917035 when prompted. The recording will be available from Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) through Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
A live broadcast of the earnings conference call will be available online at www.FairPoint.com/investors. An online replay will be available shortly thereafter.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This press release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures, including but not limited to Consolidated EBITDAR and adjustments to GAAP measures to exclude the effect of special items. Management believes that Consolidated EBITDAR may be useful to investors in assessing the Company's operating performance and its ability to meet its debt service requirements, and the maintenance covenants contained in the Company's credit facility are based on Consolidated EBITDAR. In addition, management believes that the adjustments to GAAP measures to exclude the effect of special items may be useful to investors in understanding period-to-period operating performance and in identifying historical and prospective trends. However, the non-GAAP financial measures, as used herein, are not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Furthermore, Consolidated EBITDAR has limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation from, or as an alternative to, net income or loss, operating income, cash flow or other combined income or cash flow data prepared in accordance with GAAP. Because of these limitations, Consolidated EBITDAR and related ratios should not be considered as measures of discretionary cash available to invest in business growth or reduce indebtedness. The Company compensates for these limitations by relying primarily on its GAAP results and using Consolidated EBITDAR only supplementally. A reconciliation of Consolidated EBITDAR to net income is contained in the attachments to this press release.
About FairPoint Communications, Inc.
FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NasdaqCM: FRP) (www.FairPoint.com) is a leading communications provider of high-speed Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other broadband services to customers in communities across 18 states. Through its fast, reliable data network, FairPoint delivers data and voice networking communications solutions to residential, business and wholesale customers. VantagePoint(sm), FairPoint's resilient IP-based network in northern New England, provides business customers a fast, flexible, affordable Ethernet connection. VantagePoint(sm) supports applications like video conferencing and e-learning. Additional information about FairPoint products and services is available at www.FairPoint.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
Some statements herein are known as "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the Company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements contained herein that are not historical facts. When used herein, the words "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates" and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward looking statements. Because these forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results, events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including the Company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other factors. You should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are based on the information currently available to us and speak only as of the date hereof. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. However, your attention is directed to any further disclosures made on related subjects in the Company's subsequent reports filed with the SEC.
Certain information contained herein may constitute guidance as to projected financial results and the Company's future performance that represents management's estimates as of the date hereof. This guidance, which consists of forward-looking statements, is prepared by the Company's management and is qualified by, and subject to, certain assumptions. Guidance is not prepared with a view toward compliance with published guidelines of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and neither the Company's independent registered public accounting firm nor any other independent expert or outside party compiles or examines the guidance and, accordingly, no such person expresses any opinion or any other form of assurance with respect thereto. Guidance is based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while presented with numerical specificity, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the Company's control and are based upon specific assumptions with respect to future business decisions, some of which will change. Management generally states possible outcomes as high and low ranges which are intended to provide a sensitivity analysis as variables are changed but are not intended to represent actual results, which could fall outside of the suggested ranges. The principal reason that the Company releases this data is to provide a basis for management to discuss the Company's business outlook with analysts and investors. The Company does not accept any responsibility for any projections or reports published by any such outside analysts or investors. Guidance is necessarily speculative in nature, and it can be expected that some or all of the assumptions of the guidance furnished by us will not materialize or will vary significantly from actual results. Accordingly, the Company's guidance is only an estimate of what management believes is realizable as of the date hereof. Actual results will vary from the guidance and the variations may be material. Investors should also recognize that the reliability of any forecasted financial data diminishes the farther in the future that the data is forecast. In light of the foregoing, investors are urged to put the guidance in context and not to place undue reliance on it.
(1) Consolidated EBITDAR means earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and restructuring items as defined in the Company's credit facility. Consolidated EBITDAR is a non-GAAP financial measure. A reconciliation of Consolidated EBITDAR to net income is contained in the attachments to this press release.
SOURCE FairPoint Communications, Inc.