Consolidated Communications' Q1 Metro Ethernet revenue jumps 21 percent

Consolidated Communications reported that a 21 percent rise in Metro Ethernet revenue drove up overall first-quarter 2014 data, video and Internet services revenue to $68.2 million.

During the quarter, the service provider added 7,910 data connections, up 3.2 percent, to end the period with a total of 258,244 connections. Another ongoing area of growth was video, where it added 3,313 new subscribers, ending the period with a total of 110,805 subscribers.

"Our focus on broadband growth, along with commercial and carrier sales, drove our positive operating and financial results," said Bob Currey, chairman and CEO, in the earnings release. "Metro Ethernet continues to be a leading product with a 21% increase in revenue compared to the first quarter of last year."

However, declines in its traditional ILEC and CLEC voice service business continued in the first quarter. It lost a total of 11,794 ILEC access lines and 5,694 CLEC voice lines to end the quarter with a total of 254,061 and 122,172 lines, respectively.  

Due to the declines in its legacy voice business, overall company revenues were $149.6 million, down year-over-year from $151.5 million. Consolidated said that decreases in its network access and subsidy revenues were partially offset by growth in data and video revenues.  

Operations income was $25.9 million, compared with $28.3 million from continuing operations in the first quarter of 2013. The decrease was primarily due to higher video programming costs and increases in sales-related expenses for growth and expansion initiatives.   

Another milestone Consolidated reached in the quarter was achieving an additional $0.6 million in annualized synergies from the SureWest acquisition. It's also on track to complete the final phase of billing integration in the third quarter of 2014.

Looking towards the rest of 2014, the service provider has forecast capital expenditures of $97 million to $103 million, down from $107 million in 2013.

Shares of Consolidated were listed at $19.58, down 34 cents or 1.71 percent, in Thursday morning trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange. 

For more:
- see the earnings release

Special report: Wireline telecom earnings in the first quarter of 2014

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