Too High, Too Low and Just Right: WIN, CBEY & LVLT's Earnings
Advanced communications companies have reported the best and the worst of earnings calls this quarter, with Cbeyond (NASDAQ: CBEY) dishing out better-than-expected results, Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT) displaying mixed numbers and Windstream (NASDAQ: WIN) reporting an unfortunate miss.
Windstream has started out the year in choppy waters, as the competition has blown the company away in regards to revenues and EBITDA. WIN reported a weak EPS of $0.13, (compared to $0.16 consensus), with gains of $1.545B below estimates.
Unfortunately, a turbulent quarter is not the only issue the technology and communications solutions company is facing at the moment. The questionable Paetec (NASDAQ: PAET) acquisition has research firms wondering whether or not WIN's management is making decisions in the best interest of the company, or if they were simply duped by Paetec's ability to hide its true colors.
According to Jefferies, a skeleton has been found in PAET's closet, and it was not of the friendly Halloween nature. In fact, it was a carcass looking for a hand-out.
"Wholesale PF revenue decline was primarily due to WIN suspending/modifying certain Paetec wholesale products at the center of a legal dispute with WIN's strategic carrier partners. In 1Q, the impact was $12M on revenue and $5M on OIBDA; for the year, WIN estimates the impact at $64M and $37M, respectively," Jefferies said in a report this morning.
As of now, WIN is dealing with a ~11% decrease over the last two days. However, all is not lost for the currently crippled company. Dividend remains intact and trends are on the rise in the business segment, with confidence sure to be restored sometime this year. As Bank of America put it this morning, Windstream's financial situation is bent, but certainly not broken.
Experiencing no issues on the revenue front is LVLT. The integrated communications services provider reported mixed results for its first quarter, with lukewarm numbers that still have room to heat up. Earnings grew by 2.5% year-over-year to $1.59 billion, and stronger North American enterprise sales were up almost 7%. Level 3 is expected to meet its guidance range OIBDA, according to Citi, even including outstanding integration charges.
As analysts mull over what do with current LVLT estimates, it is apparent that many are ready to update their models for Cbeyond following a better-than-expected quarter. The information technology provider reported solid results with revenue of $123.8 million beating research firm and Street estimates, just one quarter into a revamped business model.
"With less than eight weeks of the revised Cbeyond 2.0 business model and following a significant work force reduction before the midpoint of Q1/12, overall quarterly results came in better than our Street-low estimates and slightly better than overall Street expectations," Canaccord Genuity commented in a recent report.
Just as LVLT and WIN have plenty of room for modifications and enhancements, so does CBEY. Quarterly results were very impressive for the company, considering that it just implemented a new business plan and came out with positive numbers to report. However, it appears that if the communications/technology industry wants to really wow the crowd, each company must take some time to reconsider business models, earnings strategies and acquisitions.
WIN is currently trading at $9.97, down 1.24% for the day, while LVLT is trading at $24.81, up 1.6% today. Comparatively, CBEY is trading at $6.85, up 1.62% for the day.
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