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Shenandoah Telecommunications Company Reports Third Quarter 2018 Results

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Record Quarterly Operating Income Increases to $28.3 million

Third Quarter 2018 Highlights

  • Operating revenue of $158.7 million
  • Operating income of $28.3 million
  • Net income of $15.5 million, resulting in net income of $0.31 per share
  • Adjusted OIBDA of $74.1 million

Please refer to our Third Quarter 2018 Earnings Presentation Supplement available at https://investor.shentel.com/ for additional information, including matters that will be referenced during the Company's conference call. Included in this release are certain non-GAAP financial measures that are not determined in accordance with US generally accepted accounting principles. Please refer to page 10 for additional information for non-GAAP measures.

EDINBURG, Va., Nov. 06, 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 & 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.

Conference Call and Webcast

Teleconference Information:

Date: November 6, 2018   
Time: 10:00 A.M. (ET)
Dial in number: 1-888-695-7639

Password: 1996245
 
Audio webcast: http://investor.shentel.com/

An audio replay of the call will be available approximately two hours after the call is complete, through December 6, 2018 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 a multi-state area covering large portions of central and western Virginia, south-central Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and portions of Maryland, North Carolina, 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.
James F. Woodward
Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
540-984-5990
James.Woodward@emp.shentel.com

Or

John Nesbett/Jennifer Belodeau
IMS Investor Relations
203-972-9200
jnesbett@institutionalms.com

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,
Operating revenue: 2018   2017   2018   2017
Service revenue and other $ 142,768     $ 149,788     $ 419,819     $ 450,617  
Equipment revenue 15,963     1,994     49,551     8,303  
Total operating revenue 158,731     151,782     469,370     458,920  
Operating expenses:              
Cost of services 47,886     48,552     146,362     145,744  
Cost of goods sold 15,036     7,282     46,007     17,232  
Selling, general and administrative 27,452     42,199     86,117     125,374  
Acquisition, integration and migration expenses     1,706         9,873  
Depreciation and amortization 40,028     42,568     124,632     132,297  
Total operating expenses 130,402     142,307     403,118     430,520  
Operating income (loss) 28,329     9,475     66,252     28,400  
Other income (expense):              
Interest expense (9,001 )   (9,823 )   (27,184 )   (28,312 )
Gain (loss) on investments, net 88     202     112     395  
Non-operating income (loss), net 966     1,003     2,770     3,482  
Income (loss) before income taxes 20,382     857     41,950     3,965  
Income tax expense (benefit) 4,848     (2,677 )   10,207     (1,830 )
Net income (loss) $ 15,534     $ 3,534     $ 31,743     $ 5,795  
               
Net income (loss) per share, basic and diluted:           ?
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