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Cincinnati Bell Misses Where it Counts

By Seth Jayson – Updated Apr 10, 2017 at 2:16PM

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Just the facts, Fool.

Cincinnati Bell (NYSE: CBB) reported earnings on Feb. 27. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Cincinnati Bell beat slightly on revenues and missed expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue expanded slightly. Non-GAAP earnings per share dropped to a loss. GAAP loss per share shrank.

Gross margins shrank, operating margins dropped, net margins expanded.

Revenue details
Cincinnati Bell notched revenue of $374.7 million. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ hoped for revenue of $367.7 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter's.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at -$0.01. The seven earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.03 per share. Non-GAAP EPS were -$0.01 for Q4 against $0.03 per share for the prior-year quarter. GAAP EPS were -$0.06 for Q4 versus -$0.17 per share for the prior-year quarter.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 50.7%, 150 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 15.5%, 430 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -2.6%, 570 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $341.3 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.02.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $1.40 billion. The average EPS estimate is $0.18.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 147 members out of 161 rating the stock outperform, and 14 members rating it underperform. Among 46 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 43 give Cincinnati Bell a green thumbs-up, and three give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Cincinnati Bell is hold, with an average price target of $5.94.

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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cincinnati Bell. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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