No Surprises: Frontier Communications Reports a Solid Third Quarter

Regional telecom Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR  ) just reported third-quarter results.

Sales decreased 5.3% year over year to $1.19 billion as wired services continued to decline, offset by rising data service revenues. Adjusted earnings stopped at $0.06 per share, essentially flat compared to the year-ago period.

The rate of residential customer losses is decelerating, when adjusted for seasonal effects. The 26,800 new broadband accounts this quarter exceeded the number of broadband customers added in all of fiscal year 2012.

"We delivered a slight increase in sequential residential revenue in the third quarter," said Frontier CEO Maggie Wilderotter. "Our strong local engagement execution coupled with simple bundles and network improvements enabled us to, once again, take broadband market share, as illustrated by almost 27,000 broadband net adds, low churn and improved revenue metrics."

Looking ahead, Wilderotter reiterated existing full-year guidance for roughly $650 million in capital expenditures and $875 million of free cash flows. Compared to 2012, hitting these targets would amount to 13% lower capital expenses and 10% lower FCF. The press releasedid not cover revenue or earnings guidance for the fourth quarter or full year.

Wall Street analysts were looking for non-GAAP earnings of $0.06 per share on $1.18 billion in revenue, which is almost exactly what Frontier delivered. In the after-hours session, Frontier shares are trading within pennies of the closing price posted just before the quarterly report.


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