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Press Release -- May 4th, 2011
Source: nTelos
Tags: CLEC, Earnings, Equipment, RLEC, Video

NTELOS Holdings Corp. Reports First Quarter 2011 Operating Results

First Quarter 2011 Record Operating Revenues of $155.5 Million
NTELOS Net Income of $10.8 Million for First Quarter 2011
First Quarter 2011 Sprint Wholesale Revenues Reach an All-Time High
First Quarter 2011 Adjusted EBITDA of $60.0 million

WAYNESBORO, VA – May 4, 2011 – NTELOS Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:NTLS, news, filings), a leading provider of wireless and wireline communications services (branded as NTELOS) in seven Mid-Atlantic states today announced operating results for its first quarter of 2011.

Operating highlights include:

  • Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure) for first quarter 2011 of $60.0 million, representing a 39% margin
  • Wireless postpay gross additions for first quarter 2011 up 5% from first quarter 2010
  • Smartphone and data card sales represented 58% of wireless postpay gross additions for the quarter
  • Wireless Sprint wholesale revenues for first quarter 2011 were $31.0 million, a quarterly record
  • Record Wireline Adjusted EBITDA of $24.6 million for the quarter, including a full quarter of FiberNet results

“Our postpay subscriber gross additions reflect solid growth over first quarter last year as relocated or retrofitted Company stores are showing strong year-over-year gains and we achieved our best smartphone sales quarter ever,” said James A. Hyde, CEO of NTELOS Holdings Corp. “This bodes well for future wireless revenues and continued growth in data revenues. Additionally, on the strength of continuing gains in data usage, our Sprint wholesale revenues reached an all-time high for the quarter.”

Recent Developments

Repricing of Term Loan: On March 15, 2011, the Company announced that it had entered into an amendment to its Credit Agreement related to the existing $751 million term loan. The amendment provides for a repricing of the term loan and will improve the Company’s overall cost of borrowing by reducing the applicable interest rate. The new pricing on the first lien term loan was set at LIBOR plus 3.00%, with a LIBOR minimum of 1% and was entered into at par. The previous pricing was LIBOR plus 3.75%, with a LIBOR minimum of 2%. At current debt levels and LIBOR rates, this repricing would result in annualized interest savings of more than $13 million.

Declaration of Dividend: On May 2, 2011, the Board of Directors of NTELOS Holdings Corp. declared a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock in the amount of $0.28 per share to be paid on July 14, 2011 to stockholders of record on June 15, 2011.

Separation Update: On December 7, 2010, the Company’s board of directors unanimously approved a proposed plan to create separate wireless and wireline businesses by spinning off the wireline business into a publicly traded company. The Company has filed applications seeking approval of the pending wireline separation with all material regulatory agencies. In addition, NTELOS has submitted its request for a Private Letter Ruling with the IRS seeking confirmation that the separation will qualify for tax free treatment. It is expected that the initial Form 10 filing with the SEC will be made in the near future.

Business Segment Highlights

Wireless

  • Wireless operating revenues for the first quarter 2011 were $104.8 million, up 1% from first quarter 2010 due primarily to a $4.1 million increase in wholesale revenues. Subscriber revenues were $65.2 million compared to $67.7 million and $66.3 million in first quarter 2010 and fourth quarter 2010, respectively.
  • Adjusted EBITDA for Wireless was $36.7 million for the first quarter 2011. Revenues from the Sprint wholesale agreement were $31.0 million for first quarter 2011, up 15% from first quarter 2010 and achieving an all time record. Excluding support from the contracted minimums, revenues from Sprint wholesale were up 30% in first quarter 2011, from $23.8 million of calculated revenue underlying the minimums for first quarter 2010. First quarter 2011 total subscriber churn was 3.5%, consistent with the previous quarter.
  • Sales of smartphones represented 41% of postpay gross additions for first quarter 2011 compared to 12% in first quarter 2010. Additionally, device upgrades for smartphones for existing customers were nearly 8,200 for first quarter 2011 compared to approximately 4,500 for the same quarter last year. Resulting data revenues will benefit future periods, while the increased costs of acquisition for these devices were recognized in the first quarter of this year.
  • Retail wireless subscribers were 429,510 at March 31, 2011. Wireless postpay subscribers were 301,656 at quarter end with postpay gross subscriber additions for first quarter 2011 of 17,860, up 5% from first quarter 2010. Postpay sales through seven Company managed stores relocated or retrofitted in the last nine months of 2010 were up 53% in first quarter 2011, compared to first quarter 2010. Similar relocations or retrofits were completed for an additional seven stores during the first three months of 2011 and 13 more stores are planned for the remainder of 2011.
  • Prepay gross subscriber additions were 24,992, up from 22,899 in the previous quarter. First quarter 2011 prepay net subscriber additions were 1,921, resulting in 127,854 prepay subscribers at quarter end. More than 78% of prepay customers have taken plans of $50 or greater since the launch of tax-inclusive rate plans in early February, compared to a 20% take rate of plans at these levels in first quarter 2010.
  • Postpay ARPU was $57.41 for the first quarter of 2011, up 2% from an ARPU of $56.29 in the same quarter last year. Postpay data ARPU continued solid growth in the first quarter, increasing $3.61, or 30%, from $11.84 in first quarter 2010 to $15.45. Sequentially, postpay data ARPU was up 6%, or $0.84, compared to fourth quarter 2010.

“Continued strength of postpay gross additions and the growing percentage of smartphones and data cards in the postpay and prepay base are significantly positive indicators for wireless,” said Hyde. “While involuntary churn remains a challenge, our focus on the customer experience has helped to stabilize voluntary churn and we remain confident in improving longer range wireless subscriber and financial results.”

Wireline

  • Wireline operating revenues for the first quarter 2011 were $50.6 million, inclusive of the results of FiberNet, acquired on December 1, 2010, compared to $33.4 million for first quarter 2010. Adjusted EBITDA for Wireline was $24.6 million for the first quarter 2011, reflecting the first full quarter of FiberNet results, compared to $18.6 million in first quarter 2010.
  • Competitive Wireline: Representing 73% of total wireline revenues, Competitive revenues for first quarter 2011 were $37.1 million, inclusive of FiberNet, compared to $19.1 million in first quarter 2010. Revenues from Enterprise Data Services continued to grow significantly as the Company began to transition the focus of FiberNet revenue streams from voice to high-speed data services, to better leverage NTELOS’ 5,800 route mile fiber network. Growth from data products was mitigated by decreases primarily in CLEC voice, long distance revenues and other legacy products. Adjusted EBITDA for Competitive Wireline, reflecting FiberNet results, was $14.7 million for the first quarter 2011 compared to $8.5 million in first quarter 2010.
  • RLEC: RLEC revenues for the first quarter of 2011 were $13.6 million, 27% of total wireline, and were down 5% from first quarter 2010 as an increase in access revenues only partially offset revenue losses related to a decline in access lines. RLEC adjusted EBITDA, with a margin of 73%, was $9.9 million for first quarter 2011, compared to $10.0 million in first quarter 2010.

“Our integration of the FiberNet business remains ahead of schedule with three of four billing systems converted and we are beginning to recognize expected synergies,” stated Hyde. “Our sales efforts are focused on enterprise data products and wireless backhaul. Lead times are longer for these products, but we are seeing a pickup in orders and believe that these new revenues will soon offset anticipated losses from legacy low-margin voice products.”

Business Outlook

The Company will provide 2011 financial guidance updates on the First Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call scheduled for May 5, 2011 at 10:00 A.M. ET.

Statements made will be based on management’s current expectations. These statements are forward-looking and actual results may differ materially. Please see “Special Note from the Company Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

Non-GAAP Measures

Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income attributable to NTELOS Holdings Corp. before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, accretion of asset retirement obligations, gain/loss on derivatives, net income attributable to noncontrolling interests, other expenses/income, equity based compensation charges, acquisition related charges, and costs related to the planned separation of the wireless and wireline companies.

ARPU, or average monthly revenues per subscriber/unit with service, is computed by dividing service revenues per period by the weighted average number of subscribers with service during that period. Please see the footnotes in the exhibits for a complete definition of this measure.

Adjusted EBITDA and ARPU are non-GAAP financial performance measures. They should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative to measures determined in accordance with GAAP. Please refer to the exhibits and materials posted on the Company’s website for a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial performance measures to the most comparable measures reported in accordance with GAAP and for a discussion of the presentation, comparability and use of such financial performance measures.

About NTELOS

NTELOS Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: NTLS) is an integrated communications provider with headquarters in Waynesboro, VA. NTELOS provides products and services to customers in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Maryland and North Carolina, including nationwide wireless voice and data services, local and long distance telephone, high capacity transport, networking and high-speed Broadband data services and IPTV-based video products. Detailed information about NTELOS is available at www.ntelos.com.

SPECIAL NOTE FROM THE COMPANY REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Any statements contained in this presentation that are not statements of historical fact, including statements about our beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements and should be evaluated as such. The words “anticipates,” “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “targets,” “projects,” “should,” “may,” “will” and similar words and expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements reflect, among other things, our current expectations, plans and strategies, and anticipated financial results, all of which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Many of these risks are beyond our ability to control or predict. Because of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Furthermore, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. We do not undertake any obligation to update or review any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Important factors with respect to any such forward-looking statements, including certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to: rapid development and intense competition in the telecommunications industry; our ability to successfully integrate the operations of the FiberNet business; the failure to realize synergies and cost savings from the acquisition of the FiberNet business or delay in realization thereof; adverse economic conditions; operating and financial restrictions imposed by our senior credit facility; our cash and capital requirements; declining prices for our services; the potential to experience a high rate of customer turnover; our dependence on our affiliation with Sprint Nextel (“Sprint”); a potential increase in our roaming rates and wireless handset subsidy costs; the potential for Sprint to build networks in our markets; federal and state regulatory fees, requirements and developments; loss of our cell sites; the rates of penetration in the wireless telecommunications industry; our reliance on certain suppliers and vendors; Failure to complete the business separation of the wireless and wireline operations in an orderly fashion as currently structured and other unforeseen difficulties that may occur. These risks and uncertainties are not intended to represent a complete list of all risks and uncertainties inherent in our business, and should be read in conjunction with the more detailed cautionary statements and risk factors included in our SEC filings, including our Annual Reports filed on Forms 10-K.

Exhibits:

  • Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
  • Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
  • Reconciliation of Net Income Attributable to NTELOS Holdings Corp. to Operating Income
  • Reconciliation of Operating Income to Adjusted EBITDA

Additional exhibits include:

  • Summary of Operating Results
  • Customer Summary
  • Wireless Customer Detail
  • Wireless Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
  • Wireless ARPU Reconciliation

These exhibits are available in the Company’s 8-K filing with the SEC or on the Company’s Investor Relations website.

NTELOS Holdings Corp.
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
March 31, 2011 December 31, 2010
(in thousands)
ASSETS
Current Assets
Cash $ 21,639 $ 15,676
Restricted cash 1 9,210 9,210
Accounts receivable, net 54,598 55,988
Inventories and supplies 5,902 7,120
Other receivables 2,168 2,390
Income tax receivable 1,115 11,008
Prepaid expenses and other 16,593 12,193
111,225 113,585
Securities and investments 1,299 1,236
Property, plant and equipment, net 577,075 570,358
Other Assets
Goodwill 195,915 195,915
Franchise rights 32,000 32,000
Other intangibles, net 78,130 83,237
Radio spectrum licenses in service 115,449 115,449
Radio spectrum licenses not in service 16,861 16,859
Deferred charges and other assets 15,435 15,474
453,790 458,934
Total Assets $ 1,143,389 $ 1,144,113
LIABILITIES AND EQUITY
Current Liabilities
Current portion of long-term debt $ 8,745 $ 8,567
Accounts payable 32,391 32,004
Dividends payable 11,784 11,749
Advance billings and customer deposits 23,585 23,227
Accrued compensation 5,482 8,799
Accrued interest 84 3,727
Income tax payable 514 -
Accrued operating taxes 4,037 3,195
Other accrued liabilities 7,090 7,068
93,712 98,336
Long-Term Liabilities
Long-term debt 739,544 740,640
Other long-term liabilities 129,749 125,886
869,293 866,526
Equity 180,384 179,251
Total Liabilities and Equity $ 1,143,389 $ 1,144,113
1 During 2010, the Company received Federal stimulus awards, providing 50% funding, to bring broadband services and infrastructure to Alleghany County, Virginia and to provide wireless broadband service and infrastructure to Hagerstown, Maryland. The Company was required to deposit 100% of its portion for both grants ($9.2 million) into pledged accounts in advance of any reimbursements, to be drawn down ratably following reimbursement approvals.
NTELOS Holdings Corp.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations Three months ended:
(in thousands, except per share amounts) March 31, 2011 March 31, 2010
Operating Revenues $ 155,531 $ 137,551
Operating Expenses 1
Cost of sales and services (exclusive of items shown separately below) 52,932 43,293
Customer operations 34,371 30,969
Corporate operations 2,3 11,133 10,289
Depreciation and amortization 25,390 21,528
Accretion of asset retirement obligations 193 124
124,019 106,203
Operating Income 31,512 31,348
Other Income (Expenses)
Interest expense (11,006 ) (10,090 )
Loss on derivatives (148 ) -
Other (expense) income, net (1,536 ) 67
18,822 21,325
Income Tax Expense 7,576 8,595
Net Income 11,246 12,730
Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests (457 ) (219 )
Net Income Attributable to NTELOS Holdings Corp. $ 10,789 $ 12,511
Basic and Diluted Earnings per Common Share Attributable to NTELOS Holdings Corp. Stockholders:
Income per share - basic $ 0.26 $ 0.30
Income per share - diluted $ 0.26 $ 0.30
Weighted average shares outstanding - basic 41,446 41,216
Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted 41,994 41,540
Cash Dividends Declared per Share - Common Stock $ 0.28 $ 0.28
Note: First quarter 2011 includes the operating results of FiberNet, acquired on December 1, 2010.
1 Includes equity-based compensation charges related to all of the Company’s share-based awards and the Company’s 401(k) matching contributions of $1.8 million for the first quarter of 2011 and $1.2 million for the first quarter of 2010.
2 First quarter 2010 included a $0.9 million charge related to severance benefits pursuant to an executive employment agreement. Please see Form 8-K filed with the SEC on March 12, 2010 for additional information.
3 First quarter 2011 includes $1.1 million of legal and consulting services costs in connection with plans to separate the wireless and wireline operations.
NTELOS Holdings Corp.
Reconciliation of Net Income Attributable to NTELOS Holdings Corp. to Operating Income
(in thousands)
Three months ended:
March 31, 2010 March 31, 2011
Net income attributable to NTELOS Holdings Corp. $ 12,511 $ 10,789
Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests 219 457
Net Income 12,730 11,246
Interest expense 10,090 11,006
Loss on derivatives - 148
Income taxes 8,595 7,576
Other expense (income) (67 ) 1,536
Operating income $ 31,348 $ 31,512
Wireless $ 23,639 $ 22,028
Competitive Wireline 4,728 7,112
RLEC 6,450 6,278
Other (3,469 ) (3,906 )
Operating income $ 31,348 $ 31,512
NTELOS Holding Corp.
Reconciliation of Operating Income to Adjusted EBITDA
(dollars in thousands) 2010 2011
Wireless Competitive Wireless Competitive
PCS Wireline RLEC Other Total PCS Wireline RLEC Other Total
For The Three Months Ended March 31
Operating Income $ 23,639 $ 4,728 $ 6,450 $ (3,469 ) $ 31,348 $ 22,028 $ 7,112 $ 6,278 $ (3,906 ) $ 31,512
Depreciation and amortization 14,090 3,863 3,488 87 21,528 14,297 7,435 3,558 100 25,390
Sub-total: 37,729 8,591 9,938 (3,382 ) 52,876 36,325 14,547 9,836 (3,806 ) 56,902
Accretion of asset retirement obligations 188 (69 ) 5 - 124 165 22 6 - 193
Equity-based compensation 185 18 92 929 1,224 203 61 104 1,456 1,824
Acquisition related charges 1 - - - - - - 14 - 27 41
Proposed business separation charges 2 - - - - - - - - 1,074 1,074
Adjusted EBITDA $ 38,102 $ 8,540 $ 10,035 $ (2,453 ) $ 54,224 $ 36,693 $ 14,644 $ 9,946 $ (1,249 ) $ 60,034
Adjusted EBITDA Margin 36.6 % 44.6 % 70.5 % NM 39.4 % 35.0 % 39.5 % 73.2 % NM 38.6 %
1 Acquisition related charges represent legal and professional fees related to the acquisition of FiberNet that closed on December 1, 2010.
2 First quarter 2011 includes $1.1 million of legal and consulting services costs in connection with plans to separate the wireless and wireline operations.

Contacts

NTELOS Holdings Corp.
Wesley B. Wampler
Director, Investor Relations
540-949-3447
wamplerwes@ntelos.com

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