Fairpoint Communications 8-K 2012
FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS REPORTS
2012 FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
Charlotte, N.C. (May 2, 2012) FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NasdaqCM: FRP) (FairPoint or the Company), a leading communications provider, today announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. As previously announced, the Company will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast to discuss its results at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) on Thursday, May 3, 2012.
Were off to a solid start in 2012 and our financial results reflect that, said Paul H. Sunu, CEO of FairPoint. Free cash flow growth is the result of our four pillars strategy for increasing shareholder value: operational gains, regulatory progress, revenue transformation and human resource strategy. Im pleased to report progress in all four areas this quarter and I look forward to sharing our successes going forward.
Broadband subscribers grew 7.1% year-over-year and 1.4% sequentially. FairPoint added more than 21,000 broadband subscribers in the last twelve months and penetration reached 31.4% of voice access lines at March 31, 2012. The Company reported the highest percentage increase in broadband subscribers of any major telephone or cable company in 2011.
Voice access line loss slowed for the eighth consecutive quarter, reaching 8.1% year-over-year and 1.9% sequentially.
We had a significant win in the state of Maine last month with the substantive deregulation of retail products and services, said Sunu. The landmark legislation in Maine came right on the heels of the breakthrough Incentive Regulation Plan in Vermont we reported earlier this year. Without our early operational gains, we could not have been so effective changing our regulatory environment. We believe these important steps forward in Maine and Vermont will allow us to compete more effectively for business and broadband customers in order to transform our revenue composition for growth, Sunu said.
On April 12, 2012, Governor LePage of Maine signed into law historic legislation that substantially deregulates FairPoints retail operations in Maine. Among other benefits, FairPoint now has greater regulatory flexibility for all products and services except unbundled basic local voice calling. The regulatory framework has been dramatically simplified. Retail service quality penalties are now capped at $2 million per yeardown from $12.5 millionwhich serves to de-risk the business going forward.
With the operational and regulatory gains we have already achieved, we now have the proper foundation to transform our revenue composition for growth, said Sunu. This solid foundation, along with our next-generation network and an insurgents market share, represents fertile ground for revenue growth, he added.
FairPoint recently announced the addition of Tony Tomae as Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. In this role, Mr. Tomae will spearhead the development and implementation of FairPoints revenue transformation strategy. His past experience leading revenue growth in the competitive telecom marketplace gives him a unique perspective and key skills that will help the Company transform its top lineespecially in northern New England where FairPoint now has over 14,000 fiber route miles and only 26% of the retail business market.
Mr. Tomae will continue to build upon FairPoints early successes in the business segment. Since the launch of a new small business bundle in early 2011, FairPoint has seen a steady improvement in its ability to attract and retain business customers, which contributed to an improvement in the rate of business voice access line loss. The rate of loss in business voice access lines, which stood at 4.0% for the twelve months ended March 31, 2012, is nearly half the 7.8% loss FairPoint experienced for the twelve months ended March 31, 2011. Business voice access lines declined only 0.7% sequentially versus Dec. 31, 2011.
In addition, the Company is pleased by the early adoption of its new Ethernet services. For example, FairPoints carrier Ethernet offering contributed approximately $9 million of revenue in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to $7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $2 million in the first quarter of 2011. Growth in the Companys Ethernet products is expected to continue as regional banks, healthcare networks and wireless carriers transition away from legacy technologies like frame relay.
Human Resource Highlights
As of March 31, 2012, FairPoint had approximately 3,454 employees, a decrease from 3,541 at Dec. 31, 2011, and 4,032 at Dec. 31, 2010a reduction of 2% and 14% respectively. Continued operational improvements allowed the Company to announce further workforce reductions during the quarter, which impacted 78 employees and are expected to result in annualized savings of approximately $6.6 million.
First Quarter 2012 as compared to Fourth Quarter 2011
Revenue was $248.5 million in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to $254.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The fourth quarter of 2011 included a reversal of service quality penalties totaling $3.9 million, while the first quarter of 2012 included a reversal of $1.2 million in penalties. Service quality penalties impact voice services revenue. A decline in voice access lines led to a further decline in voice services and access revenue, while an increase in broadband subscribers led to a $0.6 million increase in data and Internet services revenue.
Operating expenses, excluding depreciation, amortization and reorganization, were $210.9 million in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to $203.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. On Jan. 1, 2012, the Company recorded its annual vacation expense accrual of $13.8 million, which will be amortized over the balance of the year as vacation is used. Adjusting for the impact of the annual vacation accrual, operating expenses declined $6.6 million sequentially. Decreases in bad debt, contracted services and employee expenses were partially offset by an increase in pension and other post-employment (OPEB) expense. The reduction in bad debt expense during the first quarter of 2012 was primarily the result of settlements with wholesale carriers and a significant improvement in accounts receivable aging.
Consolidated EBITDAR was $55.3 million in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to $70.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Adjusting for the impact of the annual vacation expense, Consolidated EBITDAR was flat versus the fourth quarter of 2011. Operating expense reductions more than offset the impact of the revenue decline and the cash pension contribution of $5.7 million made during the first quarter. The Company did not make a cash pension contribution in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Net loss was $46.7 million in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to a net loss of $84.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Income taxes were a benefit of $24.3 million in the first quarter of 2012, while they were an expense of $27.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. FairPoint recognized a number of annual adjustments to its income tax account, which led to income tax expense in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Capital expenditures were $26.3 million in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to $35.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. While FairPoint will continue to be diligent in its approach to capital spending, the Company expects capital expenditures will increase for the remainder of 2012 as the northern New England build season begins and the Company expands its broadband footprint in New Hampshire in accordance with a regulatory commitment to reach 95% of its customers in the state by March 31, 2013. In addition, certain success-based projects that were originally scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2012 are now expected to start later in the year.
FairPoints cash position was $35.8 million as of March 31, 2012, as compared to $17.4 million as of Dec. 31, 2011. Cash of $35.8 million was after an interest payment of approximately $17.0 million, principal repayment of $2.5 million and cash pension contributions of $5.7 million. The Companys $75 million revolving credit facility is undrawn, with $62.6 million available for additional borrowing after applying $12.4 million for outstanding letters of credit.
First Quarter 2012 as compared to First Quarter 2011
Revenue was $248.5 million in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to $254.8 million a year earlier. The unfavorable variance of $6.3 million was primarily the result of an 8.1% decline in voice access lines, partially offset by a decline in service quality penalties and growth in data and Internet services and other revenues.
Operating expenses, excluding depreciation, amortization and reorganization, were $210.9 million in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to $216.6 million a year earlier. Both quarters include the impact of the Companys annual vacation expense accrual. Decreases in bad debt, employee and other expenses were partially offset by an increase in pension and OPEB expense. The reduction in bad debt expense is discussed above.
Consolidated EBITDAR was $55.3 million in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to $49.1 million a year earlier. Operating expense reductions more than offset the impact of the revenue decline and a cash pension contribution of $5.7 million made during the first quarter of 2012. FairPoint did not make a cash pension contribution in the first quarter of 2011.
Capital expenditures were $26.3 million in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to $53.7 million a year earlier, when the Company was aggressively building fiber to towers and completing its regulatory commitment for broadband expansion in Vermont. As discussed above, FairPoint expects capital expenditures will increase for the remainder of 2012.
Net loss was $46.7 million in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to net income of $562.5 million in the first quarter of 2011 when the Company recorded cancellation of debt income associated with its emergence from bankruptcy.
The Company plans to make cash contributions to its pension plan on a quarterly basis in 2012 and expects to contribute approximately $19.8 million for the full year, including the $5.7 million contribution made in the first quarter. As the Company stated in its previous earnings release, FairPoint expects to generate Unlevered Free Cash Flow (after cash pension contributions) of $90 million to $100 million in 2012 through a continued focus on improving Consolidated EBITDAR margins and disciplined capital spending. FairPoint expects to pay approximately $68 million in interest and $10 million in loan amortization in 2012.
The information in this press release should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and footnotes contained in the Companys quarterly report for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, which will be filed with the SEC on or prior to May 10, 2012. The Companys results for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, are subject to the completion of its quarterly report for such period.
Fresh Start Accounting
On Jan. 24, 2011, the Company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and its Plan of Reorganization became effective. For purposes of generally accepted accounting principles, the Company adopted fresh start accounting as of Jan. 24, 2011, whereby the Companys assets and liabilities were marked to their fair value as of the date of emergence. Accordingly, the Companys consolidated statements of financial position and operations for periods after Jan. 24, 2011, will not be comparable in many respects to periods prior to the adoption of fresh start accounting.
Conference Call Information
As previously announced, FairPoint will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast to discuss its first quarter 2012 results at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) on Thursday, May 3, 2012.
Participants should call (866) 783-2142 (US/Canada) or (857) 350-1601 (international) at 8:20 a.m. (EDT) and enter the passcode 68118910 when prompted. The title of the call is the Q1 2012 FairPoint Communications, Inc. Earnings Conference Call.
A telephonic replay will be available for anyone unable to participate in the live call. To access the replay, call (888) 286-8010 (US/Canada) or (617) 801-6888 (international) and enter the passcode 93221305 when prompted. The recording will be available from Thursday, May 3, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. (EDT) through Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
A live broadcast of the earnings conference call will be available online at www.fairpoint.com/investors. An online replay will be available shortly thereafter.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This press release includes certain non-GAAP financial measures, including but not limited to Consolidated EBITDAR, Unlevered Free Cash Flow and adjustments to GAAP and non-GAAP measures to exclude the effect of special items. Management believes that Consolidated EBITDAR and Unlevered Free Cash Flow may be useful to investors in assessing the Companys operating performance and its ability to meet its debt service requirements, and the maintenance covenants contained in the Companys credit facility are based on Consolidated EBITDAR. In addition, management believes that the adjustments to GAAP and non-GAAP measures to exclude the effect of special items may be useful to investors in understanding period-to-period operating performance and in identifying historical and prospective trends.
However, the non-GAAP financial measures, as used herein, are not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Furthermore, Consolidated EBITDAR and Unlevered Free Cash Flow have limitations as analytical tools and should not be considered in isolation from, or as an alternative to, net income or loss, operating income, cash flow or other combined income or cash flow data prepared in accordance with GAAP. Because of these limitations, Consolidated EBITDAR, Unlevered Free Cash Flow and related ratios should not be considered as measures of discretionary cash available to invest in business growth or reduce indebtedness. The Company compensates for these limitations by relying primarily on its GAAP results and using Consolidated EBITDAR and Unlevered Free Cash Flow only supplementally. A reconciliation of Consolidated EBITDAR and Unlevered Free Cash Flow to net income is contained in the attachments to this press release.
About FairPoint Communications, Inc.
FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NasdaqCM: FRP) is a leading communications provider of broadband Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other high-capacity data services to customers in communities across 18 states. Through its fast, reliable fiber network, FairPoint delivers high-quality data and voice networking communications solutions to residential, business and wholesale customers. FairPoint delivers VantagePointSM services through its resilient IP-based network in northern New England. This state-of-the-art fiber network provides carrier Ethernet connections to support the surging bandwidth and performance requirements for cloud-based applications like network storage, disaster recovery, distance learning, medical imaging, video conferencing and CAD/CAM along with traditional voice, VoIP, video and Internet access solutions. Additional information about FairPoint products and services is available at www.FairPoint.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
Some statements herein or discussed on our earnings conference call are known as forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the Companys plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements contained herein that are not historical facts. When used herein, the words expects, anticipates, intends, plans, believes, seeks, estimates and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Because these forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results, events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including the Companys plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other factors. You should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are based on the information currently available to us and speak only as of the date hereof. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. However, your attention is directed to any further disclosures made on related subjects in the Companys subsequent reports filed with the SEC.
Certain information contained herein or discussed on our earnings conference call may constitute guidance as to projected financial results and the Companys future performance that represents managements estimates as of the date hereof. This guidance, which consists of forward-looking statements, is prepared by the Companys management and is qualified by, and subject to, certain assumptions. Guidance is not prepared with a view toward compliance with published guidelines of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and neither the Companys independent registered public accounting firm nor any other independent expert or outside party compiles or examines the guidance and, accordingly, no such person expresses any opinion or any other form of assurance with respect thereto. Guidance is based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while presented with numerical specificity, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the Companys control and are based upon specific assumptions with respect to future business decisions, some of which will change. Management generally states possible outcomes as high and low ranges which are intended to provide a sensitivity analysis as variables are changed but are not intended to represent actual results, which could fall outside of the suggested ranges. The principal reason that the Company releases this data is to provide a basis for management to discuss the Companys business outlook with analysts and investors. The Company does not accept any responsibility for any projections or reports published by any such outside analysts or investors. Guidance is necessarily speculative in nature, and it can be expected that some or all of the assumptions of the guidance furnished by us will not materialize or will vary significantly from actual results. Accordingly, the Companys guidance is only an estimate of what management believes is realizable as of the date hereof. Actual results will vary from the guidance and the variations may be material. Investors should also recognize that the reliability of any forecasted financial data diminishes the farther in the future that the data is forecast. In light of the foregoing, investors are urged to put the guidance in context and not to place undue reliance on it.
FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
Supplemental Financial Information
($ in thousands, except per unit)
During Chapter 11, all reorganization items were reported below operating income in Reorganization Items.
FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011
(in thousands, except share data)
FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
Three Months ended March 31, 2012, Sixty-Six Days ended March 31, 2011
and Twenty-Four Days ended January 24, 2011
(in thousands, except per share data)
FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
Three Months Ended March 31, 2012, Sixty-Six Days Ended March 31, 2011
and Twenty-Four Days Ended January 24, 2011