Market Overview

Shenandoah Telecommunications Company Reports Third Quarter 2017 Results

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Transformation of nTelos to Sprint Affiliate Model Completed

  - Third Quarter Net Income Improved $11.1 million

EDINBURG, Va., Nov. 02, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Shenandoah Telecommunications Company ("Shentel") (NASDAQ:SHEN) announces financial and operating results for the three months ended September 30, 2017.

Consolidated Third Quarter Results

For the quarter ended September 30, 2017, the Company reported net income of $3.5 million, compared to a net loss of $7.6 million in the third quarter of 2016, representing an improvement of $11.1 million, or 146.5%. This improvement primarily relates to improved results in the Cable and Wireline segments, the reductions in the integration and acquisition expenses related to the transformation of nTelos to the Sprint Affiliate model, partially offset by higher interest on the increased balance of outstanding debt as a result of the nTelos acquisition.  The Company is also excited to report that the integration of nTelos' operations, the transition of its customers, and the upgrade of the network have been completed ahead of schedule.

Total revenues were $151.8 million, a decrease of 3.2% compared to $156.8 million for the 2016 third quarter. Wireless service revenues decreased 3.2% as a result of lower average revenue per subscriber.  Of the former nTelos customers, approximately 65% of prepaid and 75% of postpaid migrated to the Sprint platform. Cable segment revenues increased 9.2% due to an increase in High Speed Data and voice Revenue Generating Units (RGUs), video price increases to offset increases in programming costs, and new and existing customers selecting higher-speed data packages.  Wireline segment revenues increased 6.0% due to increases in fiber revenue.

Total operating expenses were $142.3 million in the third quarter of 2017 compared to $160.8 million in the prior year period, a decrease of $18.5 million or 11.5%.  Operating expenses in the third quarter of 2017 included $2.9 million of integration and acquisition costs associated with the nTelos acquisition and the exchange transaction with Sprint, compared to $20.2 million in the same quarter last year.

Adjusted OIBDA (Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization) decreased 9.3% to $66.9 million in the third quarter of 2017 from $73.7 million in the third quarter of 2016. Continuing OIBDA (Adjusted OIBDA less the benefit received from the waived Sprint management fee) decreased 9.8% to $57.9 million from $64.2 million.

President and CEO Christopher E. French commented, "We delivered solid results in the third quarter of 2017 with the most notable achievement being our completion of the transformation of nTelos into the Sprint Affiliate model, which we accomplished a full quarter ahead of schedule and under budget.  The transformation included upgrading the nTelos wireless network to a state-of-the art 4G LTE network, which will allows us to capitalize on the fourth quarter selling season.  We have launched the biggest advertising campaign in our Company's history to highlight our enhanced network and drive new customer growth."

Wireless Segment

Third quarter wireless service revenues decreased $3.6 million or 3.2%, primarily related to a reduction in average revenue per customer as a higher percentage of our postpaid customer base moved from higher revenue subsidized phone price plans to lower revenue price plans associated with leased and installment sale phones.

Shentel served 727,954 wireless postpaid customers at September 30, 2017, up 1.3% over September 30, 2016.  Third quarter postpaid churn was 2.19% for the total company and 1.66% in the Legacy area. Excluding the impact of churn caused by customer migrations, the total Company churn was 1.85%.  The Company had a net loss of 4,710 postpaid customers in the quarter with the Legacy area adding 2,878. Excluding the customer loss due to nTelos customer migration, the Company had net adds of approximately 5,700. As of September 30, 2017, tablets and data devices were 7.6% of the postpaid base reflecting a net loss of 1,388 in the quarter.

Shentel served 224,609 prepaid wireless customers at September 30, 2017, a decrease of 20 thousand compared to the third quarter of last year.  The decrease includes the 24 thousand prepaid customer reduction in the fourth quarter 2016 due to Sprint decreasing the length of time an inactive customer would be carried in the customer counts. Total third quarter prepaid churn was 5.25% and 5.04% in the Legacy area.  The Company had net additions of 2,571 prepaid customers in the third quarter of 2017, with the Legacy area net additions of 1,942.

As previously reported, the prepaid migration was completed in late December 2016, and the outsourced prepaid billing arrangement was terminated. Shentel completed the migration of the postpaid nTelos customers and the upgrade of the network September 30, 2017.

Third quarter 2017 Adjusted OIBDA in the Wireless segment was $54.2 million, a decrease of 13.3% from the third quarter of 2016.  Continuing OIBDA in the Wireless segment was $45.2 million, down 14.7% from the third quarter of 2016.

Mr. French continued, "During the third quarter we completed the migration of postpaid nTelos customers and as expected we saw higher customer churn in the quarter as we reached the end of the migration period.  With the transition activities complete, we now turn our full focus on marketing our improved network, extended geographic coverage area and enhanced service offerings to attract new customers and grow our base of both prepaid and postpaid subscribers.  We are excited about the opportunity to provide our comprehensive price plans and state-of-the art network to an expanding consumer base."

Cable Segment

Service revenues in the Cable segment increased $2.0 million or 8.0% to $26.9 million, primarily due to growth in High Speed Data and Voice RGUs, video rate increases implemented in January 2017 to pass through programming cost increases, and new and existing customers selecting higher speed data packages.  Operating expenses increased 4.7% or $1.2 million in the third quarter of 2017. Operating income was $3.6 million compared with $2.3 million in the prior year, primarily due to the continued transformation of our Cable segment from a video focus to broadband.  In the third quarter the Company added 1,483 High Speed Data users and 327 voice users, and lost 869 video users.

Adjusted OIBDA in the Cable segment for third quarter 2017 was $10.0 million, up 21.1% from $8.2 million in the third quarter of 2016.

"We have established a robust network to address high consumer expectations for speed and reliability from their cable provider.  Our network provides the high speed bandwidth and availability that our customers demand, providing an advantage in the competitive marketplace as we look to capture new customers and grow with our existing subscribers as they upgrade their service packages," Mr. French stated.

Wireline Segment

Revenue in the Wireline segment increased 6.0% to $19.9 million in the third quarter of 2017, as compared to $18.7 million in the third quarter of 2016.  Carrier access and fiber revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was $13.2 million, an increase of 6.9% from the same quarter last year, primarily as a result of new fiber contracts. Increases in broadband service revenue offset the loss of regulated voice service revenue.  Operating expenses increased 5.9% or $0.8 million to $14.8 million for third quarter 2017, primarily due to costs to support new fiber contracts.

Adjusted OIBDA in the Wireline segment for third quarter 2017 was $8.4 million, as compared to $7.7 million in third quarter 2016.

Other Information

Capital expenditures were $39.8 million in the third quarter of 2017 compared to $42.7 million in the comparable 2016 period. To date, the company has spent or committed $132.9 million of the estimated 2017 capital budget.

Cash and cash equivalents as of September 30, 2017 were $75.5 million, compared to $36.2 million at December 31, 2016. Total outstanding debt at September 30, 2017 totaled $833.0 million, net of unamortized loan costs, compared to $829.3 million as of December 31, 2016.  At September 30, 2017, debt as a percent of total assets was 57.6%. The amount available to the Company through its revolver facility was $75.0 million.

Conference Call and Webcast

The Company will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast Thursday, November 2, 2017, at 10:00 A.M. Eastern Time.

Teleconference Information:

November 2, 2017 10:00 A.M. (ET) 
Dial in number: 1-888-695-7639

Password: 2275277
Audio webcast: http://investor.shentel.com/

An audio replay of the call will be available approximately two hours after the call is complete, through November 10, 2017 by calling (855) 859-2056.

About Shenandoah Telecommunications

Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) provides a broad range of diversified communications services through its high speed, state-of-the-art network to customers in the Mid-Atlantic United States.  The Company's services include: wireless voice and data; cable video, internet and digital voice; fiber network and services; and regulated local and long distance telephone. Shentel is the exclusive personal communications service ("PCS") Affiliate of Sprint in portions of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and portions of Kentucky and Ohio.  For more information, please visit www.shentel.com.

This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of unforeseen factors. A discussion of factors that may cause actual results to differ from management's projections, forecasts, estimates and expectations is available in the Company's filings with the SEC. Those factors may include changes in general economic conditions, increases in costs, changes in regulation and other competitive factors.

CONTACTS:
Shenandoah Telecommunications, Inc.
Adele Skolits
CFO and VP of Finance
540-984-5161
Adele.skolits@emp.shentel.com

Or
John Nesbett/Jennifer Belodeau
Institutional Marketing Services (IMS)
203-972-9200
jnesbett@institutionalms.com

SHENANDOAH TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands)

  September 30,
 2017
  December 31,
 2016
       
Cash and cash equivalents $ 75,467     $ 36,193  
Other current assets 97,750     125,272  
Total current assets 173,217     161,465  
       
Investments 11,319     10,276  
       
Net property, plant and equipment 683,355     698,122  
       
Intangible assets, net 421,672     454,532  
Goodwill 146,497     145,256  
Deferred charges and other assets, net 11,012     14,756  
Total assets $ 1,447,072     $ 1,484,407  
       
Total current liabilities 129,537     164,263  
Long-term debt, less current maturities 778,686     797,224  
Other liabilities 239,504     227,026  
Total shareholders' equity 299,345     295,894  
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $ 1,447,072     $ 1,484,407  

SHENANDOAH TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(in thousands, except per share amounts)

    Three Months Ended
September 30,
  Nine Months Ended
September 30,
    2017   2016   2017   2016
                 
Operating revenues   $ 151,782     $ 156,836     $ 458,920     $ 379,716  
                 
Operating expenses:                
Cost of goods and services, exclusive of depreciation and  amortization shown separately below   55,834     58,317     162,976     140,354  
Selling, general and administrative, exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below   42,199     40,369     125,374     96,263  
Integration and acquisition expenses   1,706     15,272     9,873     35,801  
Depreciation and amortization   42,568     46,807     132,297     96,961  
Total operating expenses   142,307     160,765     430,520     369,379  
Operating income (loss)   9,475     (3,929 )   28,400     10,337  
                 
Other income (expense):                
Interest expense   (9,823 )   (8,845 )   (28,312 )   (16,369 )
Gain (loss) on investments, net   202     127     395     237  
Non-operating income (loss), net   1,003     1,400     3,482     2,910  
Income (loss) before income taxes   857     (11,247 )   3,965     (2,885 )
                 
Income tax expense (benefit)   (2,677 )   (3,651 )   (1,830 )   (2,174 )
Net income (loss)   $ 3,534     $ (7,596 )   $ 5,795     $ (711 )
                 
Earnings (loss) per share:                
Basic   $ 0.07     $ (0.16 )   $ 0.12     $ (0.01 )
Diluted   $ 0.07     $ (0.16 )   $ 0.12     $ (0.01 )
Weighted average shares outstanding, basic   49,133     48,909     49,100     48,768  
Weighted average shares outstanding, diluted   49,959     48,909     49,869     48,768  

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In managing our business and assessing our financial performance, management supplements the information provided by financial statement measures prepared in accordance with GAAP with Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA, which are considered "non-GAAP financial measures" under SEC rules.

Adjusted OIBDA is defined by us as operating income (loss) before depreciation and amortization, adjusted to exclude the effects of:  certain non-recurring transactions; impairment of assets; impairment of assets gains and losses on asset sales; straight-line adjustments for the waived management fee by Sprint; amortization of the affiliate contract expansion intangible asset reflected as a contra revenue; actuarial gains and losses on pension and other post-retirement benefit plans; and share-based compensation expense.  Adjusted OIBDA should not be construed as an alternative to operating income as determined in accordance with GAAP as a measure of operating performance.  Continuing OIBDA is defined by us as Adjusted OIBDA, less the benefit received from the waived management fee by Sprint over the next approximately six-year period, showing Sprint's support for our acquisition and our commitment to enhance the network.

In a capital-intensive industry such as telecommunications, management believes that Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA and the associated percentage margin calculations are meaningful measures of our operating performance.  We use Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA as supplemental performance measures because management believes they facilitate comparisons of our operating performance from period to period and comparisons of our operating performance to that of other companies by excluding potential differences caused by the age and book depreciation of fixed assets (affecting relative depreciation expenses) as well as the other items described above for which additional adjustments were made.  In the future, management expects that the Company may again report Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA excluding these items and may incur expenses similar to these excluded items.  Accordingly, the exclusion of these and other similar items from our non-GAAP presentation should not be interpreted as implying these items are non-recurring, infrequent or unusual.

While depreciation and amortization are considered operating costs under generally accepted accounting principles, these expenses primarily represent the current period allocation of costs associated with long-lived assets acquired or constructed in prior periods, and accordingly may obscure underlying operating trends for some purposes.  By isolating the effects of these expenses and other items that vary from period to period without any correlation to our underlying performance, or that vary widely among similar companies, management believes Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA facilitates internal comparisons of our historical operating performance, which are used by management for business planning purposes, and also facilitates comparisons of our performance relative to that of our competitors.  In addition, we believe that Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA and similar measures are widely used by investors and financial analysts as measures of our financial performance over time, and to compare our financial performance with that of other companies in our industry.

Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA have limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP.  These limitations include the following:

  • they do not reflect capital expenditures;
  • many of the assets being depreciated and amortized will have to be replaced in the future and Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA do not reflect cash requirements for such replacements;
  • they do not reflect costs associated with share-based awards exchanged for employee services;
  • they do not reflect interest expense necessary to service interest or principal payments on indebtedness;
  • they do not reflect gains, losses or dividends on investments;
  • they do not reflect expenses incurred for the payment of income taxes; and
  • other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA differently than we do, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure.

In light of these limitations, management considers Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA as financial performance measures that supplement but do not replace the information reflected in our GAAP results.

The following table shows Adjusted OIBDA  and Continuing OIBDA for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016:

    Three Months Ended
September 30,
  Nine Months Ended
September 30,
(in thousands)   2017   2016   2017   2016
Adjusted OIBDA   $ 66,904     $ 73,746     $ 209,895     $ 170,166  
Continuing OIBDA   $ 57,943     $ 64,228     $ 182,827     $ 154,554  

The following table reconciles Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA to operating income, which we consider to be the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016:

Consolidated:   Three Months Ended
September 30,
  Nine Months Ended
September 30,
(in thousands)   2017   2016   2017   2016
Operating income (loss)   $ 9,475     $ (3,929 )   $ 28,400     $ 10,337  
Plus depreciation and amortization   42,568     46,807     132,297     96,961  
Plus (gain) loss on asset sales   164     (81 )   80     (144 )
Plus share based compensation expense   640     496     3,053     2,570  
Plus straight line adjustment to management fee waiver   4,320     4,640     12,960     7,687  
Plus amortization of intangible netted in revenue   5,242     5,593     15,563     8,883  
Plus amortization of intangible netted in rent expense   1,580         2,173      
Plus temporary back office costs to support the billing operations through migration (1)   1,209     4,948     5,496     8,071  
Plus integration and acquisition related expenses   1,706     15,272     9,873     35,801  
Adjusted OIBDA   $ 66,904     $ 73,746     $ 209,895     $ 170,166  
Less waived management fee   (8,961 )   (9,518 )   (27,068 )   (15,612 )
Continuing OIBDA   $ 57,943     $ 64,228     $ 182,827     $ 154,554  

_______________________________________________________
1) Integration and acquisition costs consist of severance accruals for short-term nTelos personnel to be separated as integration activities wind down, transaction related expenses, device costs to support the transition to Sprint billing platforms, and other transition costs to support the migration to Sprint back-office functions.  Once former nTelos customers migrate to the Sprint back office, the Company incurs certain postpaid fees retained by Sprint and prepaid costs passed to us by Sprint that would offset a portion of these savings.

The following tables reconcile Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA to operating income by major segment for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016:

Wireless Segment:   Three Months Ended
September 30,
  Nine Months Ended
September 30,
(in thousands)   2017   2016   2017   2016
Operating income (loss)   $ 6,745     $ (5,407 )   $ 22,234     $ 20,905  
Plus depreciation and amortization   32,929     38,038     104,231     70,026  
Plus (gain) loss on asset sales   193     (45 )   208     (84 )
Plus share based compensation expense   277     246     1,354     1,058  
Plus straight line adjustment to management fee waiver (1)   4,320     4,640     12,960     7,687  
Plus amortization of intangible netted in revenue   5,242     5,593     15,563     8,883  
Plus amortization of intangible netted in rent expense   1,580         2,173      
Plus temporary back office costs to support the billing operations through migration   1,209     4,945     5,495     8,067  
Plus integration and acquisition related expenses (2)   1,691     14,499     9,607     19,889  
Adjusted OIBDA   $ 54,186     $ 62,509     $ 173,825     $ 136,431  
Less waived management fee (3)   (8,961 )   (9,518 )   (27,068 )   (15,612 )
Continuing OIBDA   $ 45,225     $ 52,991     $ 146,757     $ 120,819  

_______________________________________________________
1) Pursuant to the intangible asset exchange with Sprint, the Company recognized an intangible asset for the affiliate contract expansion received.  Consistent with the presentation of related service fees charged by Sprint, the Company recognizes the amortization of this intangible as a contra-revenue over the remaining contract term that concludes November 2029.
2) Integration and acquisition costs consist of severance accruals for short-term nTelos personnel to be separated as integration activities wind down, transaction related expenses, device costs to support the transition to Sprint billing platforms, and other transition costs to support the migration to Sprint back-office functions.  Once former nTelos customers migrate to the Sprint back office, the Company incurs certain postpaid fees retained by Sprint and prepaid costs passed to us by Sprint that would offset a portion of these savings.
3) As part of the Company's amended affiliate agreement, Sprint agreed to waive the management fee, which is historically presented as a contra-revenue by the Company, for a period of approximately six years.  The impact of Sprint's waiver of the management fee over the approximate six-year period is reflected as an increase in revenue, offset by the non-cash adjustment to recognize this impact on a straight-line basis over the remaining contract term that concludes November 2029.

Cable Segment:   Three Months Ended
September 30,
  Nine Months Ended
September 30,
(in thousands)   2017   2016   2017   2016
Operating income   $ 3,626     $ 2,282     $ 10,460     $ 4,043  
Plus depreciation and amortization   6,192     5,860     18,070     17,834  
Plus (gain) loss on asset sales   (19 )   (19 )   (115 )   (53 )
Plus share based compensation expense   172     108     766     673  
Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA   $ 9,971     $ 8,231     $ 29,181     $ 22,497  


Wireline Segment:   Three Months Ended
September 30,
  Nine Months Ended
September 30,
(in thousands)   2017   2016   2017   2016
Operating income   $ 5,089     $ 4,792     $ 15,571     $ 15,070  
Plus depreciation and amortization   3,249     2,822     9,536     8,789  
Plus (gain) loss on asset sales           27     40  
Plus share based compensation expense   73     49     319     284  
Adjusted OIBDA and Continuing OIBDA   $ 8,411     $ 7,663     $ 25,453     $ 24,183  

Supplemental Information

Subscriber Statistics

The following tables show selected operating statistics of the Wireless segment, including the effects of the nTelos acquisition and the exchange with Sprint on May 6, 2016 and  the acquisition of expansion area on April 6, 2017, as of the dates shown:

    September 30,
2017
  December 31,
2016
  September 30,
2016
  December 31,
2015
Retail PCS Subscribers – Postpaid   727,954     722,562     718,785     312,512  
Retail PCS Subscribers – Prepaid (1)   224,609     206,672     245,046     129,855  
PCS Market POPS (000) (2)   6,047     5,536     5,536     2,433  
PCS Covered POPS (000) (2)   5,157     4,807     4,715     2,224  
CDMA Base Stations (sites)   1,544     1,467     1,425     552  
Towers Owned   201     196     181     158  
Non-affiliate Cell Site Leases   192     202     186     202  

_______________________________________________________

1) December 2016 and subsequent periods reported prepaid subscribers includes the impact of a change in the Company's policy as to how long an inactive customer is included in the customer counts. This policy change, implemented in December 2016 effectively reduced prepaid customers by approximately 24 thousand. As of September 2017, The Company is no longer including Lifeline subscribers to be consistent with Sprint's policy. Historical customer counts have been adjusted accordingly.
2) POPS refers to the estimated population of a given geographic area and is based on information purchased from third party sources.  Market POPS are those within a market area which we are authorized to serve under our Sprint PCS affiliate agreements, and Covered POPS are those covered by our network.

    Three Months Ended
September 30,
  Nine Months Ended
September 30,
    2017   2016   2017   2016
Gross PCS Subscriber Additions – Postpaid   43,320     41,563     122,429     85,104  
Net PCS Subscriber Additions (Losses) – Postpaid   (4,710 )   1,222     (13,675 )   1,829  
Gross PCS Subscriber Additions – Prepaid (1)   37,653     32,315     112,201     77,010  
Net PCS Subscriber Additions (Losses) – Prepaid (1)   2,571     (13,856 )   13,259     (21,557 )
PCS Average Monthly Retail Churn % - Postpaid (2)   2.19 %   2.01 %   2.08 %   1.71 %
PCS Average Monthly Retail Churn % - Prepaid (1) (2)   5.25 %   6.09 %   5.06 %   5.67 %

_______________________________________________________

1) The Company is no longer including Lifeline subscribers to be consistent with Sprint's policy. Historical customer counts have been adjusted accordingly.
2) PCS Average Monthly Retail Churn is the average of the monthly subscriber turnover, or churn, calculations for the period. Excluding losses associated with the migration of nTelos subscribers to the Sprint network and platform, churn for the three months ended September 30, 2017 and 2016, was 1.85% and 1.64%, respectively.

The September 30, 2017 numbers shown above include the following:

  April 6, 2017   May 6, 2017
  Expansion Area   nTelos Area
Acquired PCS Subscribers - Postpaid 19,067     404,444
Acquired PCS Subscribers - Prepaid 5,962     154,944
Acquired PCS Market POPS (000) (1) 511     3,099  
Acquired PCS Covered POPS (000) (1) 244     2,298  
Acquired CDMA Base Stations (sites) (2)     868  
Towers     20  
Non-affiliate Cell Site Leases     10  

_______________________________________________________

1) POPS refers to the estimated population of a given geographic area and is based on information purchased from third party sources.  Market POPS are those within a market area which we are authorized to serve under our Sprint PCS affiliate agreements, and Covered POPS are those covered by our network.
2) As of September 30, 2017 we have shut down 107 overlap sites.

The following table shows selected operating statistics of the Wireline segment as of the dates shown:

    September 30,
2017
  December 31, 2016   September 30,
2016
  December 31,
2015
Telephone Access Lines (1)   18,006     18,443     18,737     20,252  
Long Distance Subscribers   9,107     9,149     9,186     9,476  
Video Customers (2)   5,110     5,264     5,285     5,356  
DSL and Cable Modem Subscribers (1)   14,605     14,314     14,195     13,890  
Fiber Route Miles   2,040     1,971     1,916     1,736  
Total Fiber Miles (3)   149,944     142,230     133,903     123,891  

_______________________________________________________

1) Effective October 1, 2015, we launched cable modem services on our cable plant, and ceased the requirement that a customer have a telephone access line to purchase internet service.  As of September 30, 2017, 1,578 customers have purchased cable modem service received via the coaxial cable network.
2) The Wireline segment's video service passes approximately 16,500 homes.
3) Fiber miles are measured by taking the number of fiber strands in a cable and multiplying that number by the route distance.  For example, a 10 mile route with 144 fiber strands would equal 1,440 fiber miles.

The following table shows selected operating statistics of the Cable segment as of the dates shown:

    September 30,
2017
  December 31,
2016
  September 30,
2016
  December 31,
2015
Homes Passed (1)   184,881     184,710     184,698     172,538  
Customer Relationships (2)                
Video customers   45,290     48,512     48,924     48,184  
Non-video customers   32,663     28,854     28,469     24,550  
Total customer relationships   77,953     77,366     77,393     72,734  
Video                
Customers (3)   47,379     50,618     51,379     50,215  
Penetration (4)   25.6 %   27.4 %   27.8 %   29.1 %
Digital video penetration (5)   76.0 %   77.4 %   76.3 %   77.9 %
High-speed Internet                        
Available Homes (6)   184,881     183,826     183,814     172,538  
Customers (3)   63,442     60,495     59,852     55,131  
Penetration (4)   34.3 %   32.9 %   32.6 %   32.0 %
Voice                        
Available Homes (6)   182,350     181,089     181,077     169,801  
Customers (3)   22,419     21,352     21,199     20,166  
Penetration (4)   12.3 %   11.8 %   11.7 %   11.9 %
Total Revenue Generating Units (7)   133,240     132,465     132,430     125,512  
Fiber Route Miles   3,340     3,137     3,124     2,844  
Total Fiber Miles (8)   121,331     92,615     84,945     76,949  
Average Revenue Generating Units   132,704     131,218     131,707     124,054  

_______________________________________________________

1) Homes and businesses are considered passed ("homes passed") if we can connect them to our distribution system without further extending the transmission lines.  Homes passed is an estimate based upon the best available information.
2) Customer relationships represent the number of customers who receive at least one of our services.
3) Generally, a dwelling or commercial unit with one or more television sets connected to our distribution system counts as one video customer.  Where services are provided on a bulk basis, such as to hotels and some multi-dwelling units, the revenue charged to the customer is divided by the rate for comparable service in the local market to determine the number of customer equivalents included in the customer counts shown above.
4) Penetration is calculated by dividing the number of customers by the number of homes passed or available homes, as appropriate.
5) Digital video penetration is calculated by dividing the number of digital video customers by total video customers.  Digital video customers are video customers who receive any level of video service via digital transmission.  A dwelling with one or more digital set-top boxes or digital adapters counts as one digital video customer.
6) Homes and businesses are considered available ("available homes") if we can connect them to our distribution system without further extending the transmission lines and if we offer the service in that area.
7) Revenue generating units are the sum of video, voice and high-speed internet customers.
8) Fiber miles are measured by taking the number of fiber strands in a cable and multiplying that number by the route distance.  For example, a 10 mile route with 144 fiber strands would equal 1,440 fiber miles. 

Segment Information

Operating segments are defined as components of an enterprise about which separate financial information is available that is evaluated regularly by the chief operating decision maker.  The Company has three reportable segments, which the Company operates and manages as strategic business units organized by lines of business: (1) Wireless, (2) Cable, and (3) Wireline.   A fourth segment, Other, primarily includes Shenandoah Telecommunications Company, the parent holding company. 

The Wireless segment has provides digital wireless service to a portion of a multi-state area covering the region from Harrisburg, York and Altoona, Pennsylvania, to Harrisonburg, Virginia, south-central and western Virginia, West Virginia, and portions of Maryland, North Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio, as a Sprint PCS Affiliate. This segment also owns cell site towers built on leased land, and leases space on these towers to both affiliates and non-affiliated service providers throughout the same multi-state area described above.

The Cable segment provides video, internet and voice services in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland, and leases fiber optic facilities throughout southern Virginia and West Virginia. It does not include video, internet and voice services provided to customers in Shenandoah County, Virginia.

The Wireline segment provides regulated and unregulated voice services, DSL internet access, and long distance access services throughout Shenandoah County and portions of Rockingham, Frederick, Warren and Augusta counties, Virginia. The segment also provides video and cable modem services in portions of Shenandoah County, and leases fiber optic facilities throughout the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, northern Virginia and adjacent areas along the Interstate 81 corridor through West Virginia, Maryland and portions of central and southern Pennsylvania.

Three Months Ended September 30, 2017                    
(in thousands) Wireless   Cable   Wireline   Other   Eliminations   Consolidated Totals
External revenues                      
Service revenues $ 107,395     $ 26,934     $ 5,126     $     $     $ 139,455  
Other 3,871     2,156     6,300             12,327  
Total external revenues 111,266     29,090     11,426             151,782  
Internal revenues 1,239     999     8,425         (10,663 )    
Total operating revenues 112,505     30,089     19,851         (10,663 )   151,782  
                       
Operating expenses                      
Costs of goods and services, exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below 41,041     14,913     9,807         (9,927 )   55,834  
Selling, general and administrative, exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below 30,099     5,358     1,706     5,772     (736 )   42,199  
Integration and acquisition expenses 1,691             15         1,706  
Depreciation and amortization 32,929     6,192     3,249     198         42,568  
Total operating expenses 105,760     26,463     14,762     5,985     (10,663 )   142,307  
Operating income (loss) $ 6,745     $ 3,626     $ 5,089     $ (5,985 )   $     $ 9,475  


Three Months Ended September 30, 2016                    
(in thousands) Wireless   Cable   Wireline   Other   Eliminations   Consolidated Totals
External revenues                      
Service revenues $ 111,001     $ 24,948     $ 4,948     $     $     $ 140,897  
Other 7,978     2,031     5,930             15,939  
Total external revenues 118,979     26,979     10,878             156,836  
Internal revenues 1,140     587     7,854         (9,581 )    
Total operating revenues 120,119     27,566     18,732         (9,581 )   156,836  
                       
Operating expenses                      
Costs of goods and services, exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below 43,097     14,654     9,442         (8,876 )   58,317  
Selling, general and administrative, exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below 29,892     4,770     1,676     4,736     (705 )   40,369  
Integration and acquisition expenses 14,499             773         15,272  
Depreciation and amortization 38,038     5,860     2,822     87         46,807  
Total operating expenses 125,526     25,284     13,940     5,596     (9,581 )   160,765  
Operating income (loss) $ (5,407 )   $ 2,282     $ 4,792     $ (5,596 )   $     $ (3,929 )


Nine Months Ended September 30, 2017                    
(in thousands) Wireless   Cable   Wireline   Other   Eliminations   Consolidated Totals
External revenues                      
Service revenues $ 323,262     $ 80,229     $ 15,301     $     $     $ 418,792  
Other 15,133     6,283     18,712             40,128  
Total external revenues 338,395     86,512     34,013             458,920  
Internal revenues 3,707     2,153     24,568         (30,428 )    
Total operating revenues 342,102     88,665     58,581         (30,428 )   458,920  
                       
Operating expenses                      
Costs of goods and services, exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below 117,829     45,052     28,409         (28,314 )   162,976  
Selling, general and administrative, exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below 88,201     15,083     5,065     19,139     (2,114 )   125,374  
Integration and acquisition expenses 9,607             266         9,873  
Depreciation and amortization 104,231     18,070     9,536     460         132,297  
Total operating expenses 319,868     78,205     43,010     19,865     (30,428 )   430,520  
Operating income (loss) $ 22,234     $ 10,460     $ 15,571     $ (19,865 )   $     $ 28,400  


Nine Months Ended September 30, 2016                    
(in thousands) Wireless   Cable   Wireline   Other   Eliminations   Consolidated Totals
External revenues                      
Service revenues $ 250,053     $ 73,455     $ 14,727     $     $     $ 338,235  
Other 17,461     5,799     18,221             41,481  
Total external revenues 267,514     79,254     32,948             379,716  
Internal revenues 3,417     1,159     22,754         (27,330 )    
Total operating revenues 270,931     80,413     55,702         (27,330 )   379,716  
                       
Operating expenses                      
Costs of goods and services, exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below 94,892     43,864     26,892         (25,294 )   140,354  
Selling, general and administrative, exclusive of depreciation and amortization shown separately below 65,219     14,672     4,951     13,457     (2,036 )   96,263  
Integration and acquisition expenses 19,889             15,912         35,801  
Depreciation and amortization 70,026     17,834     8,789     312         96,961  
Total operating expenses 250,026     76,370     40,632     29,681     (27,330 )   369,379  
Operating income (loss) $ 20,905     $ 4,043     $ 15,070     $ (29,681 )   $     $ 10,337  

Wireless Service Revenues

(in thousands)

  Three Months Ended
September 30,
  Change
Service Revenues   2017   2016   $   %
Postpaid net billings (1)   $ 94,013     $ 97,470     $ (3,457 )   (3.5 )
Sprint fees                
Management fee   (7,460 )   (7,919 )   459     (5.8 )
Net service fee   (7,872 )   (6,745 )   (1,127 )   16.7  
Waiver of management fee   7,440     7,996     (556 )   (7.0 )
    86,121     90,802     (4,681 )   (5.2 )
Prepaid net billings                
Gross billings (2)   24,155     24,323     (168 )   (0.7 )
Sprint management fee   (1,502 )   (1,521 )   19     (1.2 )
Waiver of management fee   1,521     1,521          
    24,174     24,323     (149 )   (0.6 )
Travel and other revenues (2)   6,662     6,109     553     9.1  
Accounting adjustments                
Amortization of expanded affiliate agreement   (5,242 )   (5,593 )   351     (6.3 )
Straight-line adjustment - management fee waiver   (4,320 )   (4,640 )   320     (6.9 )
    (9,562 )   (10,233 )   671     (6.6 )
Total Service Revenues   $ 107,395     $ 111,001     $ (3,606 )   (3.2 )

_______________________________________________________
1) Postpaid net billings are defined under the terms of the affiliate contract with Sprint to be the gross billings to customers within our service territory less billing credits and adjustments and allocated write-offs of uncollectible accounts.
2) The Company is no longer including Lifeline subscribers to be consistent with Sprint. The above table reflects the reclassification of the related Assurance Wireless prepaid revenue within the Wireless segment from Prepaid gross billings to travel and other revenues.

(in thousands)

  Nine Months Ended
September 30,
  Change
Service Revenues   2017   2016   $   %
Postpaid net billings (1)   $ 280,724     $ 218,327     $ 62,397     28.6  
Sprint fees                
Management fee   (22,465 )   (17,914 )   (4,551 )   25.4  
Net service fee   (22,852 )   (15,986 )   (6,866 )   43.0  
Waiver of management fee   22,426     13,126     9,300     70.9  
    257,833     197,553     60,280     30.5  
Prepaid net billings                
Gross billings (2)   74,609     56,955     17,654     31.0  
Sprint management fee   (4,622 )   (3,524 )   (1,098 )   31.2  
Waiver of management fee   4,642     2,486     2,156     86.7  
    74,629     55,917     18,712     33.5  
Travel and other revenues (2)   19,323     13,153     6,170     46.9  
Accounting adjustments                
Amortization of expanded affiliate agreement   (15,563 )   (8,883 )   (6,680 )   75.2  
Straight-line adjustment - management fee waiver   (12,960 )   (7,687 )   (5,273 )   68.6  
    (28,523 )   (16,570 )   (11,953 )   72.1  
Total Service Revenues   $ 323,262     $ 250,053     $ 73,209     29.3  

______________________________________________________
1) Postpaid net billings are defined under the terms of the affiliate contract with Sprint to be the gross billings to customers within our service territory less billing credits and adjustments and allocated write-offs of uncollectible accounts.
2) The Company is no longer including Lifeline subscribers to be consistent with Sprint. The above table reflects the reclassification of the related Assurance Wireless prepaid revenue within the Wireless segment from Prepaid gross billings to travel and other revenues.

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