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Frontier Communications (FTR) Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates

Frontier Communications Corp. FTR reported strong financial results in the first quarter of 2016. Contrary to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a net loss, the company posted net income in the reported quarter. Moreover, the top line outpaced the consensus mark.

On A GAAP basis, net loss in the reported quarter was $186 million or a loss of 16 cents per share compared with a net loss of $51 million or 5 cents per share in the prior-year quarter. However, quarterly adjusted (excluding special items) earnings per share were 1 cent, a sharp contrast to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 9 cents.

Total revenues decreased 1.2% year over year to $1,355 million. However, the figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,351 million. Of the total, Voice revenues came in at $467 million, down 11%. Data & Internet revenues were $587 million, up 2.1%. Other revenues were $135 million, up 1.5%. Revenues from Switched access and subsidy grossed $166 million, up 20.3%.

Segment-wise, Residential revenues were $583 million, down 5.5% year-over-year whereas Business revenues came in at $606 million, down 1.6%.

Operating income in the first quarter decreased a substantial 64.4% year over year to $58 million. Operating income margin was 4.3% compared with 11.9% in the year-ago quarter. Quarterly operating expenses were $1,297 million, up 7.4% year over year.

Cash Flow

In the first quarter of 2016, Frontier Communications generated $374 million of cash from operations against $504 million in the prior-year quarter. Free cash flow in the reported quarter was a negative $45 million compared with a positive $197 million in the year-ago quarter.

Liquidity

Frontier Communications exited the first quarter of 2016 with $500 million of cash and cash equivalents compared with $936 million at 2015 end. Total debt at the end of the reported quarter was $15,866 million compared with $15,892 million at the end of 2015. At first quarter end, the debt-to-capitalization ratio was 0.75 against 0.73 at the end of 2015.

Subscriber Statistics

As of Mar 31, 2016, the number of residential customers declined 1.1% sequentially to 3,088,300. The average monthly residential revenue per customer was $62.64, down 0.8% sequentially. Business subscribers decreased 1.70% sequentially to 289,000. The average monthly business revenue per customer was $704.1, up 0.6% sequentially.  

As of Mar 31, 2016, Frontier Communications had 2,486,700 high-speed broadband subscribers and 543,400 video customers. In the reported quarter, the company gained 24,600 high-speed broadband customers but lost 10,300 video subscribers.

Outlook

For 2016, Frontier Communications expects adjusted free cash flow in the range of $800 million to $925 million. Capital expenditures will be in the $1,250 million to $1,400 million range.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Frontier Communications currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same industry are BlackBerry Ltd. BBRY, NTT DOCOMO Inc. DCM and Windstream Holdings Inc. WIN. All three stocks currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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WINDSTREAM HLDG (WIN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FRONTIER COMMUN (FTR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
NTT DOCOMO -ADR (DCM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BLACKBERRY LTD (BBRY): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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