Why Lumos Networks Corp. Shares Plunged Today

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 Lumos Networks Corp. (NASDAQ: LMOS  ) fell more than 13% Tuesday after the company turned in disappointing fourth-quarter results and weak forward revenue guidance.

So what: Quarterly revenue came in at $51 million, which translated to earnings of $0.18 per share. Fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA was $24 million. Analysts, on average, were looking for earnings of $0.22 per share on sales of $51.92 million.

Lumos also provided first quarter guidance for revenue of $50 million to $51 million, with adjusted EBITDA of $22.5 million to $23 million. For the full year 2014, Lumos expects revenue of $200 million to $204 million, with adjusted EBITDA of $94 to $96 million. By contrast, analysts were modeling first quarter and full year sales of $52.57 million and $211.69 million, respectively.

Now what: After noting the strength of Lumos' strategic data segment -- revenue for which grew 11.3% over last year and offset declines in its legacy voice revenue -- CEO Timothy Biltz elaborated, "In 2014, we plan to continue to tightly control expenses while making major investments in our fiber optics network and expansion markets to enhance our capability to increase fiber bandwidth revenue from both carrier and enterprise customers."

Even after today's fall, however, shares of Lumos don't look particularly attractive given its stagnant top-line growth and trading around 17.4 times next year's estimated earnings. Barring any significant upside surprises going forward, I have no problem continuing to watch Lumos Networks from the sidelines.

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