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HickoryTech Q4 2013 fiber, data revenue grows 5 percent to $17.3M

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HickoryTech's (Nasdaq: HTCO) fiber and data revenue continued to operate well in the fourth quarter of 2013 as revenues rose 5 percent to $17.3 million due to 7 percent growth in business revenue and a 3 percent increase in wholesale revenue.

Business revenue was $9.4 million, while wholesale was $7.6 million, up from $8.8 million and $7.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, respectively. However, fiber and data segment operating income was $1.4 million, down $350,000 from the same period a year ago.

"For the quarter and full year we delivered strong Fiber and Data revenue growth, a key objective in our plan to expand fiber access networks and further diversify our company's revenue stream," said John Finke, HickoryTech's president and CEO, in the earnings release. "More than three-fourths of our revenue is from business and broadband services and our Fiber and Data segment revenue is now larger than our Telecom Segment revenue, signifying Enventis' strong position as a leading business and broadband provider."

Driven by a higher level of business customer service installations, support services revenue was $3.7 million, up 131 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012.

One area that was a loss for HickoryTech was the equipment segment, which declined 6 percent to $14 million due to lower equipment hardware sales. Overall equipment revenue was $10.3 million, down 22 percent year-over-year.

In the telecom segment, revenue was $14.3 million, down 3 percent year-over-year. Telecom results were hurt by expected declines in network access, local voice service and other legacy service revenue. Local service revenues declined 8 percent to $2.8 million, while network access declined 11 percent to $4.3 million.

Two bright spots in the telecom segment were DSL-based broadband and digital TV, which rose 5 and 10 percent, respectively. The rise in new subscribers drove up overall broadband revenue 8 percent to $5.3 million.

Looking forward, the service provider forecast revenue for 2014 to be between $189 million to $199 million. It expects net income to be in a range of $6.4 million to $8.4 million and EBITDA of $47.0 million to $49.5 million. Capital expenditures are expected to be $24 million to $28 million with about 60 percent of capex expected for success-based opportunities.

Shares of HickoryTech were listed $13.84, up 21 cents or 1.54 percent, at the end of trading Monday on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

For more:
- see the earnings release

Earnings Summary: Wireline telecom earnings in the fourth quarter of 2013

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