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Press Release -- March 5th, 2013
Source: Enventis
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HickoryTech Reports Fourth Quarter 2012 Results

Double-digit Increases in Revenue and Income

  • Total revenue was $46.6 million, up 18 percent year-over-year
  • Fiber and data revenue was $16.4 million, up 36 percent year-over-year
  • Equipment revenue was $14.8 million, a 44 percent increase year-over-year
  • Operating income up 40 percent and Net income increased 60 percent year-over-year Business and broadband revenue now represents 76 percent of total revenue in 2012

MANKATO, Minn., March 5, 2013 — HickoryTech Corporation (NASDAQ:HTCO, news, filings) today reported fourth quarter revenue of $46.6 million, an increase of 18 percent year over year.  Net income for the fourth quarter totaled $2.5 million, up 60 percent year over year, and earnings per share totaled 19 cents per diluted share, a 55 percent increase from a year ago.  Fourth quarter results include the company’s Fargo, North Dakota operations, which were acquired in March 2012.

“HickoryTech met or exceeded its 2012 objectives while we invested in future growth initiatives that will further strengthen our business,” said John Finke, HickoryTech’s president and chief executive officer.  “We made significant progress growing our fiber and data revenue organically and with a strong, strategic acquisition in Fargo, North Dakota.  With 76 percent of our revenue coming from business and broadband services, our increasingly diversified revenue sources have allowed us to manage the regulatory challenges and declines in our legacy telecom operations.   Looking forward, we remain focused on growing our business services and completing our greater Minnesota broadband project, which further expands our fiber network and gives us access to additional markets.”

Fiber and Data Segment (before inter-segment eliminations)

  • Fourth quarter Fiber and Data revenue totaled $16.4 million, up 36 percent year over year.  This improvement is the result of the success experienced in retail and wholesale transport and data services, and the addition of IdeaOne Telecom operations.  Fiber and Data revenue, excluding IdeaOne operations increased 8 percent year over year.
  • Costs and expenses for the segment totaled $13.7 million, up 36 percent.
  • Fiber and Data Segment operating income totaled $2.7 million, a 35 percent increase year over year. 
  • Net income totaled $1.7 million, up 38 percent from the fourth quarter 2011.


Equipment Segment
(before inter-segment eliminations)

  • Fourth quarter Equipment Segment revenue totaled $14.8 million, a 44 percent increase year over year, driven by higher equipment hardware sales.
  • Equipment revenue was $13.3 million, up 59 percent from a year ago and Support Services revenue was $1.6 million, down 22 percent from fourth quarter 2011.
  • Equipment Segment operating income totaled $398,000, an increase of 36 percent year over year. 
  • Net income totaled $269,000, up 39 percent from fourth quarter 2011.


Telecom Segment
(before inter-segment eliminations)

  • Fourth quarter Telecom Segment revenue totaled $16 million, down 10 percent from a year ago. Telecom results were affected by declines in network access, local service and other legacy service revenue, due to access reform regulation, the expiration of interstate infrastructure support reimbursements, access line and minute-of-use erosion and increased competition.
  • DSL subscribers increased 2 percent and Digital TV subscribers were up 3 percent; however, competitive price compression is impacting broadband revenue which was down 4 percent year over year.
  • Costs and expenses totaled $14 million, down 7 percent year over year.
  • Net income totaled $1.3 million, a 21 percent decrease compared to the fourth quarter 2011.

Total capital expenditures in the fourth quarter totaled $11.5 million, net of grants from the Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project.

Depreciation and amortization expense increased $1 million or 18 percent in the fourth quarter.  The IdeaOne acquisition added $880,000 of depreciation and amortization, and the remainder is primarily attributed to increased capital expenditure associated with fiber network expansion and success-based capital expenditures associated with Fiber and Data revenue growth.

Consolidated Fiscal 2012 Results

  • Revenue for 2012 totaled $183.2 million, a 12 percent increase from fiscal 2011.  The increase was driven by higher revenue increases in Fiber and Data, partly due to the result of the IdeaOne acquisition, and higher equipment sales which helped offset Telecom declines.
  • Operating income in 2012 was $19.4 million and net income for 2012 was $8.3 million, both down 1 percent from 2011.
  • EBITDA totaled $46.2 million, an 8 percent increase compared to 2011.
  • Fiber and Data Segment revenue totaled $60.9 million, a 33 percent increase from 2011.
  • Equipment Segment revenue was $60.1 million, up 23 percent from 2011.
  • Telecom Segment revenue was $64.7 million, down 9 percent from 2011.
  • Capital expenditures were $30.3 million net of grants from the Greater Minnesota Broadband Collaborative Project.
  • The company completed the acquisition of IdeaOne, a Fargo, North Dakota-based fiber network provider, in March 2012 for a purchase price of $26.3 million plus $1.8 million assumed liabilities and was funded by cash and debt.

Debt Position
Long-term debt and current maturities, including capitalized leases, totaled $136.8 million at Dec. 31, 2012.  The 2012 debt balance represents a year-over-year increase of $16.5, as a result of the debt deployed to acquire IdeaOne Telecom.

Long-term debt and current maturities, including capitalized leases, totaled $136.8 million at Dec. 31, 2012.  The 2012 debt balance represents a year-over-year increase of $16.5, as a result of the debt deployed to acquire IdeaOne Telecom. 


Dividend
HickoryTech increased its fourth quarter 2012 dividend 3.5 percent to $0.145 cents per share of HickoryTech common stock, representing the company’s fourth dividend increase in the past five years.  The company declared the first quarter 2013 dividend of $0.145 payable March 5.  HickoryTech has paid a cash dividend to shareholders for more than 65 years.

“The long-term sustainability of our plan allows us to continue to invest in growth initiatives across our business, pay down debt and pay a shareholder dividend and is attributed to the strong free cash flow generated across our operations,” said Finke.


Fiscal Outlook for 2013
HickoryTech expects revenue in 2013 to be within a range of a 2 percent decline to a 3 percent increase as compared to 2012 revenue.  The company expects growth in business revenue to offset the majority of the declines in legacy Telecom services.  Net income is expected to be in a range of a 7 percent decline to a 14 percent increase versus 2012 net income.  Capital expenditures are expected to decline by 6 percent to 20 percent and be between $24 million and $28.2 million.  EBITDA is expected to be in a range of a 2 percent to 8 percent increase as compared to 2012 EBITDA.  The company expects its year-end debt balance to be down 1 percent to 3 percent and be in a range of $133 million to $136 million.HickoryTech expects revenue in 2013 to be within a range of a 2 percent decline to a 3 percent increase as compared to 2012 revenue.  The company expects growth in business revenue to offset the majority of the declines in legacy Telecom services.  Net income is expected to be in a range of a 7 percent decline to a 14 percent increase versus 2012 net income.  Capital expenditures are expected to decline by 6 percent to 20 percent and be between $24 million and $28.2 million.  EBITDA is expected to be in a range of a 2 percent to 8 percent increase as compared to 2012 EBITDA.  The company expects its year-end debt balance to be down 1 percent to 3 percent and be in a range of $133 million to $136 million.


Conference Call and Webcast
HickoryTech will hold a conference call and webcast on Wednesday, March 6 at 9 a.m. CT to review the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results. The conference call dial-in number is 877-774-2369, conference ID 93172156.  A simultaneous webcast with audio and presentation will be available 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., HickoryTech has 500 employees and a five-state fiber network spanning more than 4,100 route miles across Minnesota and into Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  Enventis provides business IP voice, data and video solutions, MPLS networking, data center and managed hosted services and communication systems.  HickoryTech delivers broadband Internet, Digital TV, voice and data services to businesses and consumers in southern Minnesota and northwest Iowa. The Company trades on the NASDAQ, symbol: 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. 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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