Consolidated's Q4 video, data connection gains offset by ongoing local voice, network access revenue declines

Consolidated Communications reported that while data and Internet service rose to $82.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, those gains were more than offset by declines in legacy local calling and network access revenues.  

During the quarter, Consolidated added more than 2,000 total net data subscribers. At the same time, business and wholesale services continue to be strong performers. Driven by Metro Ethernet services, the telco said that it increased commercial and carrier revenue by 4.2 percent year-over-year from the same period in 2013.

One of the highlights of its broadband business came in November when it responded to Google Fiber's (NASDAQ: GOOG) fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) call in Kansas City, Mo., with its own 1 Gbps Internet package for residential customers.

"Our strategic focus on delivering high bandwidth data services and solutions to businesses and consumers has continued our successful transition to a broadband driven company," said Bob Udell, president and CEO of Consolidated, in the earnings release. "During the quarter, we added over 2,000 net data connections and increased the percentage of revenues from business and broadband to 80 percent of total revenues."

However, the telco continues to see legacy declines being a drag. Local calling and network access revenues both declined year-over-year to $29.9 million and $28.3 million, down from $30.8 million and $30.1 million, respectively, from the fourth quarter of 2013. Likewise, equipment sales and services were $11 million, down year-over-year from $13.9 million in the same period a year ago.

For the quarter, overall company revenues were $192.6 million, down from $194.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The company said that increases in data and Internet revenues and subsidies were more than offset by declines in legacy local calling and network access revenues.  

Income from operations was $25.9 million, up from $22.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, a factor Consolidated said was due to synergy realization from the Enventis acquisition and efficiency improvements.   

In addition to seeing gains in data and Internet, Consolidated completed the acquisition of Enventis. The company is now moving ahead with integrating Enventis' assets into its fold and its synergy plans.

Shares of Consolidated were trading at $22.66, down 66 cents or 2.83 percent, in Thursday morning trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

For more:
- see the earnings release

Special report: Wireline telecom earnings in the fourth quarter of 2014

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