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Press Release -- August 3rd, 2011
Source: Enventis
Tags: Construction, Earnings, Equipment, Ethernet, Expansion, MPLS

HickoryTech Reports Second Quarter 2011 Results

  • Total revenue of $40.1 million for the quarter, up 5 percent year-over-year
  • Net debt position improved $5 million for the quarter and $15 million year-to-date
  • Equipment and Broadband revenue increased 12 percent

MANKATO, Minn., August 3, 2011--- HickoryTech Corporation (NASDAQ:HTCO, news, filings) today reported second quarter earnings results highlighted by increased revenue and an improved net debt position. Revenue for the quarter ending June 30, 2011, totaled $40.1 million, a 5 percent increase year-over-year, and net income totaled $2.7 million, or 20 cents per diluted share. Net income totaled $2.7 million in the second quarter, down 23 percent year over year partially due to the reversal of income tax expense in 2010 which increased net income.

“I am pleased with our performance and continued revenue growth in our equipment, fiber and data and broadband services product lines,” said John Finke, HickoryTech’s president and chief executive officer. “As we reach the midpoint of our fiscal year, we see solid demand for our business services and our consumer business continues to be very steady. HickoryTech’s earnings were enhanced this quarter as a result of our continued efforts to manage our strong cash flows, lower interest expense, and leverage investments in key strategic growth initiatives.”

Capital expenditures in the second quarter totaled $4.7 million, of which Business Sector capital investments totaled $2.5 million and Telecom Sector investments were $2.2 million. Sales and operations expenses within the Business Sector also increased to support the company’s market expansion and business initiatives.

“We began construction on our Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project in July which will significantly increase our fiber footprint in northern Minnesota,” said Finke. “We continue to make investments to grow our broadband and business services as we invest in long-term growth initiatives while maintaining strong cash flows and a solid balance sheet.”

Long-term debt and total current maturities totaled $118.7 million as of June 30, 2011, essentially flat with the $119 million as of Dec. 31, 2010. Net debt, a measure of actual balance-sheet strength that subtracts the cash balance from total debt, totaled $103.8 million as of June 30, 2011, a $5 million improvement from the $108.9 million net debt position as of March 31, 2011, and a $15 million improvement from the $118.9 million net-debt as of December 31, 2010.

Business Sector (before inter-segment eliminations)

  • Second Quarter Business Sector revenue totaled $23 million, up 8 percent year-over-year, driven by steady growth in both lines of business; equipment and fiber and data services.
  • Costs and expenses totaled $20.4 million, an increase of 7 percent from the second quarter of 2010, the result of higher sales and operating expenses to support the company’s market expansion.
  • Net income totaled $1.6 million, up 16 percent from one year ago.
  • Fiber and data revenue totaled $11.3 million, up 4 percent year-over-year, the result of strong sales of Ethernet and wholesale carrier services. Excluding the 2010 fiber construction project, fiber and data organic revenue growth would have been 15 percent in the second quarter 2011.
  • Equipment product revenue totaled $11.7 million, an increase of $1.3 million, or 13 percent year-over-year. Equipment sales increased $1 million from the second quarter of 2010; and support services, a key recurring revenue focus area for this line of business, increased $350,000 or 15 percent year-over-year.
  • Total Business Sector operating income was $2.6 million for the second quarter of 2011, which is a 16 percent increase over the same quarter in 2010.

Telecom Sector (before inter-segment eliminations)

  • Telecom Sector revenue totaled $17.7 million, a 1 percent increase, year-over-year. Telecom Sector results were stable and continued to reflect growth in broadband services offset by the impact of declines in legacy telecom services.
  • Broadband revenue totaled $5.1 million, up 12 percent year-over-year. Broadband revenue includes: DSL, Internet, data and Digital TV services. Digital TV subscribers grew 7 percent from the same quarter in 2010, demonstrating HickoryTech’s continued focus on growing its broadband entertainment services.
  • Network access revenue totaled $5.8 million, down 1 percent year-over-year.
  • Local service revenue totaled $3.6 million, down 6 percent from one year ago, and local access lines declined 7 percent year-over-year.
  • Costs and expenses totaled $15 million, a 3 percent increase year-over-year.
  • Telecom Sector net income totaled $1.6 million, a 10 percent decrease from the comparable period in 2010.

Capital Expenditures and Debt Position

Capital expenditures totaled $4.7 million for the company in the second quarter of 2011, and were $2.3 million less than the comparable period in 2010.

The company is nearing completion of the routine refinance of its senior credit facility which is nearing the end of its term. We expect a new senior credit agreement to be effective in the third quarter of 2011.

HickoryTech confirmed its previous fiscal 2011 outlook, as outlined below, without change:

  • Revenue is expected to range from $158 million to $164 million.
  • Net Income is expected to range from $7.4 million to $8.7 million. Diluted Earnings Per Share is expected to range between $0.55 and $0.65 per share.
  • CAPEX is expected to range from $20.5 million to $24 million (net of government grants for Broadband Collaborative Project).
  • EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) is expected to range from $41 million to $43.2 million.
  • Debt balance at Dec. 31, 2011 is expected to range from $118 million to $123 million.

Financial tables, click here.

Conference Call and Webcast

HickoryTech will host a conference call and webcast on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 9 a.m. CT. The dial-in number for the call is 877-774-2369 and the conference ID is 81262309. A simultaneous webcast of the call and downloadable presentation will be available through a link on the Investor Relations page at http://investor.hickorytech.com.

About HickoryTech

HickoryTech Corporation is a leading communications provider serving business and residential customers in the upper Midwest. With headquarters in Mankato, Minn., the corporation has 460 employees and an expanded, multi-state fiber network spanning more than 2,750 route miles serving Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. Enventis provides IP-based voice and data solutions, MPLS networking, data center and managed hosted services and communication systems to businesses across a five-state region. HickoryTech delivers broadband Internet, Digital TV, voice and data services to businesses and consumers in southern Minnesota and northwest Iowa. NASDAQ: HTCO. For more information, visit www.hickorytech.com.

Non-GAAP Measures

To supplement the Company’s financial statements presented in accordance with GAAP, the Company provides certain non-GAAP financial measures of financial performance and position. These non-GAAP measures include earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, and net-debt. The Company’s reference to these non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to results prepared under current accounting standards, but are not a substitute for, or superior to, GAAP results. These non-GAAP measures are provided to enhance investors’ overall understanding of the Company’s current financial performance, financial position and ability to generate cash flows. In many cases non-GAAP financial measures are used by analysts and investors to evaluate the Company’s performance and financial position. Reconciliation to the nearest GAAP measure included in this press release can be found in the financial table included below.

Forward-looking statement

Certain statements included in this press release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements." Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the industry in which HickoryTech operates and management's beliefs and assumptions. The forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and probabilities. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they were made. HickoryTech undertakes no obligation to update any of its forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

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