Newly minted wireless pure play Alltel
Speaking of metrics, Alltel rang up a healthy 237,000 net customer additions in the quarter. This is slightly higher than the 228,000 it added last quarter, which is usually the strongest quarter for customer additions thanks to holiday gift giving. The company also dropped its churn rate to an all-time low of 1.8%, proving that it's getting better at keeping customers on the books. The quarter was topped off with a respectable ARPU (average revenue per wireless customer, in this case) of $52.49 per month, a 2% year-over-year increase.
All the numbers and metrics point to one thing -- Alltel is executing well on a business strategy that's working. Being a small fish in a really big pond dominated by sharks Verizon Wireless
The company remained mum about its strategic path going forward, however. Speculation about Alltel's involvement in a potential takeover or merger of some sort has persisted, yet the company has made no moves to date.
But until something happens on the M&A front (if ever), shareholders are still benefiting from a 0.8% dividend yield from Alltel. Even though the company spun off its fixed-line business last year, Alltel's wireless business generates enough cash to fund the dividend and even a share buyback plan. For instance, the company spent $939 million to acquire 15.3 million shares, more than 4% of its share base, in the first quarter alone.
So while all the speculation and rumor talk continues, Alltel just keeps marching ahead, demonstrating that its exclusive focus on the wireless market is in shareholders' best interest.
Dial up more Foolishness:
- Alltel Rings True: Fool by Numbers
- Foolish Forecast: Alltel's Extreme Makeover
- Foolish Fundamentals: Service Provider Metrics
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Fool contributor Dave Mock knows all too well how to tell when all is not well. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Dave is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.