Continuing with familiar trends, CenturyTel reported 4Q08 and FY08 results today, with an emphasis on a rise in broadband growth and declines in access lines. Results were generally in line with Street expectations. CenturyTel expressed concern with access line loss, but points out their rate of decline is smaller than their RBOC brethren. CenturyTel also noted more aggressive competition from cable firms.
The Financial Numbers:
- Revenue for 4Q08 was $642.6M vs. $650.1M in 3Q08 with net income of $87.0M vs. $82.8M in 3Q08
- Adjusted and diluted EPS was $0.88 vs. $0.82 sequentially, aided non-recurring tax items and lower shares outstanding
- Free cash flow was $114M vs. $140.5 in Q3 and capex rose to $101.8M vs. $70.6M in 3Q08
- For the Year, revenue was $2.598B vs. $2.61B with net of $347.1M vs.$354.3M in 2007
- EPS rose to $3.37 from $3.16 due to a 10% decrease in shares outstanding
- Free cash flow was a record $584M
The Subscriber Numbers:
- For the 4Q08, access lines declined to 1.998M from 2.041M in 3Q08
- High Speed customers grew by 13k over 3Q08 to a total of 641k and 86k over 4Q07
- Bundle penetration stands at 34%
- Added 188,000 satellite TV customers from 4Q07
CenturyTel leadership continues to project access line losses of around 6% on an annual basis. These results exclude the EMBARQ acquisition, which is slated to close in 2Q09.