SureWest: Net loss, broadband-fueled revenue growth

Independent telco SureWest Communications announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2008 earnings, reporting a net loss of $2.13 million, about $1.6 million more than its net loss of the same quarter in 2007. Fourth-quarter revenue increased to $59 million, from about $44 million in the fourth quarter of 2007.

For the full year, net income dropped sharply to $18.9 million from $62.9 million in 2007, but the Roseville, Calif., company noted that a directories unit sale in 2007 produced a much larger gain for that year than the telco's wireless unit sale produced in 2008. On a positive note, revenue for 2008 jumped 32 percent to $230.4 million on strong broadband revenue. Broadband revenue represented about 59 percent of the company's overall revenue in 2008. On the voice side, the company said it lost 4,500 residential voice revenue-generating units, but about 1,800 of those RGU's migrated over to SureWest's own broadband-based VoIP offering.

Regarding 2009, SureWest said it plans to spend between $55 million and $60 million on mostly success-based capital expansion projects, roughly $26 million to $31 million less than it spent in 2008, but slight more than it spent in 2007. The company said it was cutting its capex to help increase free cash flow as SureWest continue to size up potential M&A opportunities.

For more:
- Here's the SureWest press release

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