February 23, 2011
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR ) fell as much as 16% after reporting fourth-quarter results that disappointed Wall Street.
So what: What was a double-digit sell-off early has since moderated to being down about 7% as of this writing. To me, this suggests that the size of Frontier's flop could have as much to do with trouble in Libya and $100 oil -- twin fears that seem to be spooking investors today -- as the report.
Now what: And yet the report was weak. Revenue doubled to $1.36 billion thanks to big contributions from lines acquired from Verizon Communications. Profit soared to $0.05 a share from $0.01 a share a year ago. Trouble is, analysts were expecting $1.39 billion and $0.10 a share, respectively.
For the long term, the selling probably doesn't make much sense. Frontier generated more than $560 million in free cash flow last year, enough to cover interest payments and a fat dividend that yields 8% as of this writing.
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