Investors had to wait a little longer for Alaska Communications
The impact of the restatement was relatively minor, though, and performance this quarter was good enough to overshadow the accounting misstep. Revenues in 2007 increased 10.6% to $385.8 million, driven by wireless revenue that increased 19% year over year. Annual operating cash flow also ticked up more than 14% to nearly $105 million.
As Alaska Communications Systems (ACS) continues to see disconnects in local access lines, wireless revenue is making up an increasing portion of consolidated sales, now standing at 36%. The company is aggressively pursuing new wireless customers by offering unlimited plans -- like those just announced by AT&T
The broadband services division is also pulling more weight, as the company added nearly 1,300 new DSL customers in the fourth quarter to end the year with approximately 47,500 subscribers. Like much larger telcos such as Verizon Communications
ACS is also plowing money into its Alaska Oregon Network (AKORN) project, a fiber backbone which will transport high volumes of data traffic from Alaska to the lower 48 states. Even with the $6 million ACS expects to spend to launch the facility in 2008, the company is comfortable with its current cash balance of $36 million, and its dividend payout ratio remains below 70%.
Once again, ACS didn't show any knock-your-socks-off performance, but rather methodically improved its business. By dodging a significant restatement bullet, and making what looks to be a smart investment in fiber capacity, the company is positioning itself well for the future. With a 7% dividend yield and a reasonable valuation, Alaska Communications still looks like a good call to me.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock has never seen the Northern Lights, but just added it to his "to do" list. He owns shares of Alaska Communications and Motorola. Dave is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool's disclosure policy is easier to follow than Shakespeare.