Lumos Q4 strategic data revenue jumps 11.3% to $31.2M, offsets legacy voice losses

Lumos Networks (Nasdaq: LMOS) reported that fourth-quarter 2013 strategic data services sales to both businesses and wholesale customers drove up data revenues 11.3 percent to $31.2 million and now make up 61 percent of its total revenue.

During the year 2013, the telco made continual progress with both its wholesale and business services drive, particularly in fiber to the cell site (FTTC), IP services and enterprise data.

Wireless backhaul was a key part of the telco's carrier revenues, which rose sequentially to $16.1 million. The service provider ended the year with a total of 608 connected FTTC sites, up 68 sequentially and 64 percent year-over-year. This was in line with its previously stated guidance to connect over 600 connected sites. It has maintained its target for 1,500 sites within the next few years.

In addition, the telco's 110-mile fiber "Edge-out" market in Richmond, Va., had annualized sales bookings of $3.4 million.

The service provider also set a foundation for future FTTC and potential business services growth with its "Project Ark" initiative. Under this new plan, Lumos will build a 850-mile Carrier Ethernet MPLS/IP network overlay designed primarily for FTTC traffic, but it will be available for select large enterprise customers.

Lumos reported that enterprise data revenues rose to $10.1 million, while IP revenues declined slightly to $4.75 million.

Like the FTTC initiative, Lumos connected 41 new on-net buildings to its network to end the quarter with a total of 1,344 buildings. Part of this on-net building figure included connections into 12 new data centers. During the first half of this year, Lumos plans to extend its fiber to six new data centers.

For the year 2013, Lumos' total revenue was $207.5 million, up slightly from $206.9 million in 2012. However, total fourth-quarter 2013 revenue was $51.0 million, down from $52.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2012 and $51.6 million in the third quarter of 2013 due to expected declines in legacy voice services.

Legacy voice revenues and access declined sequentially to $13.3 million and $6.5 million, respectively 

Looking forward to the first quarter of 2014, the service provider expects revenue of $50 million to $51 million and adjusted EBITDA of $22.5 million to $23 million. For the full year 2014, Lumos has forecast revenue of $200 million to $204 million and adjusted EBITDA $94 million to $96 million.

"In 2014, we plan to continue to tightly control expenses while making major investments in our fiber optics network and expansion markets to enhance our capability to increase fiber bandwidth revenue from both carrier and enterprise customer," said Tim Biltz, president and CEO of Lumos Networks, in the earnings release.

Shares of Lumos were listed at $16.63, down $1.86, or 10.06 percent, in Tuesday morning trading 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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