Why Shenandoah Shares Sank

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 diversified telecom company Shenandoah Telecommunications (NASDAQ: SHEN  ) plunged 17% today after its quarterly results disappointed Wall Street.

So what: The stock has rallied in recent months on optimism over accelerating demand, but today's Q3 results -- operating income spiked 145% but revenue only increased 6% -- are quickly forcing Mr. Market to sober up. The company said that its 4G upgrade is right on track for completion, however, suggesting that its long-term growth story remains largely intact.

Now what: Management now sees 2013 capital expenditures of $102.4 million, but expects spending to drop significantly next year. "Beginning in 2011 and throughout the last three years, we've made considerable capital expenditures as we executed initiatives to improve our cable technology and to implement the 4G upgrade in our wireless business to coincide with Sprint's Network Vision project," said CEO Christopher French. "With the upgrade activity expected to conclude by year end, we expect capital spending in 2014 to be significantly lower." With Shenandoah shares still up about 85% from their 52-week lows and trading at forward P/E of 20, however, I'd wait for a wider margin of safety before jumping in.  

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