Alaska Communications (NASDAQ:ALSK) will call in its second-quarter 2007 results on Thursday. Let's look to the north and see what's on tap for the integrated telecommunications-services provider.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or waffle? Of the eight analysts covering the company, two say you should pick up the line, five say "hold, please," and one says to hang up. Alaska Communications also ranks as a two-star stock (out of five) in Motley Fool CAPS, where 82 players have given input on the company.
  • Revenue. The average expectation for revenue this quarter is $90 million, up nearly 6% from a year ago.
  • Earnings. Profits are expected to drop 55% to $0.14 per share.

What management says:
Management has had that preachin' feelin' lately. CEO Liane Pelletier, eager to extol the virtues of an improving business, said, "Our market position, strong business fundamentals and track record of execution continue to contribute to superior financial performance, growing cash flows, and a strengthened balance sheet." CFO David Wilson added a little color of his own: "Wireless continues to drive significant top- and bottom-line expansion."

The pleasing results from the first quarter even gave management confidence to increase its 2007 financial outlook and bump up its level of wireless capital expenditures this year by roughly 10%, to $46 million.

What management does:
Growth in the wireless and broadband segments of the business has definitely been making a big impact on the numbers. While trailing-12-month gross margins have trickled down a bit over the past several quarters, operating and net margins have increased dramatically.

Margins

12/05

3/06 

6/06 

9/06 

12/06 

 3/07

Gross

34.7%34%34.3%34.8%33%

33.4%

Operating

9.4%

10%

12%

14.7%

14.9%

15.9%

Net

(12.7%)

(6.5%)

(2.3%)

2.6%

5.7%

10%

All data courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data reflects trailing-12-month performance for the quarters ended in the named months.

One Fool says:
Alaska Communications made a big bet in rolling out advanced 3G technology from Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) across Alaska. That's what Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and Verizon Wireless -- a joint venture between Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) -- use in the lower 48 states. The platform has allowed for dramatic growth in wireless data revenue and helped differentiate the company from wireless competitor Dobson Communications, which AT&T (NYSE:T) just recently acquired.

Additionally, a long-standing deal with Echostar (NASDAQ:DISH) for satellite television services and a recently launched VoIP phone service has the company covering all of its customers' communication needs. With impressive financial metrics already booked, this Fool will be checking Alaska Communications' quarterly customer metrics closely this time around, to understand just how effective the company has been at leveraging integrated and premium service offerings.

Ring up more Foolishness here:

Fool contributor Dave Mock looks forward to visiting Alaska someday. He owns shares of Qualcomm and is the author ofThe Qualcomm Equation. Vodafone is an Inside Value recommendation. Rain, snow, sleet, hail -- the Fool's disclosure policy delivers day and night.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.