Shentel's fiber lease revenues rise 15.7% on strong wireless backhaul sales

Shentel continued to find gold in its fiber lease segment as revenues rose 15.7 percent year-over-year to $8.1 million, helping to offset declines in legacy voice and drive up overall wireline revenues.

During the third quarter, Shentel said that external fiber lease contracts more than doubled. The service provider said that sales to wireless service providers generated $1.7 million of OIBDA, up 21.5 percent over the same period a year ago.

"Affiliated revenues are up 15 percent to $4 million primarily due to sales to our wireless segment," Earle MacKenzie, EVP and COO, said during the earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "Non-affiliate revenues are up 17 percent to $4.1 million."

MacKenzie added that the company has "signed contracts totaling $13.4 million of new revenue and still expect to exceed the $19 million signed in 2013."

At the end of the quarter, Shentel had 85,398 fiber miles and 1,454 fiber route miles, up year-over-year from 85,135 and 1,452, respectively.

Overall wireline segment revenues were $4.4 million, up from $3.5 million in the third quarter of 2013. Adjusted OIBDA for the wireline segment for third-quarter 2014 increased to $7.9 million, as compared to $6.5 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Per the industry-wide trend, Shentel continued to see access lines decline. As of the end of September 2014, it had a total of 21,742 access lines, down from 22,257 at Sept. 30, 2013.

"We continue with modest access line losses with only 2.3 percent loss in the past 12 months," MacKenzie said. "Our DSO customers remain flat for the quarter and up 149 in the past year. Future DSO growth will be as additional homes in our service area add computers and the need for broadband."

Shentel's total revenues were $82.3 million, up 6.1 percent over $77.5 million for the same period a year ago. The telco attributes the increase in revenue to growth in subscribers and revenue per subscriber. Likewise, Shentel's net income rose by 19.1 percent to $8 million compared to $6.7 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Shares of Shentel were listed at $29.54, down 5 cents or .17 percent, in Monday morning trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

For more:
- see the earnings release
- and the earnings transcript

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

Related articles:
Shentel's wireline segment operating income drops to $3.8M
Shentel's Q1 fiber lease revenue rose to $8.1M
Shentel's Q4 2013 wireline fiber sales rise to $21.8M
Shentel's wireline revenue remains flat at $3.3M, but fiber leasing grows 13 percent