Tags: Frontier | Communications | integration | FTR

Frontier Communications Faces Integration Challenge

By    |   Thursday, 29 March 2012 09:23 AM

Telecommunications provider Frontier Communications (FTR) still faces an integration challenge after more than doubling in size in 2010.

Frontier has 5 million telecommunications customers in rural areas. The Connecticut telecom bought most of Verizon’s (VZ) rural business for $8.6 billion in 2010, acquiring properties in 14 states.

For fourth quarter 2011, Frontier reported sales of $1.2 billion, down 5.6 percent from 2010. Quarterly net income was 4 cents per share, down from 5 cents per share.

For full-year 2011, sales were $5.2 billion, up 38 percent from $3.7 billion in 2010. Net income for the year was 15 cents per share, down from 23 cents.

For 2012, Wall Street’s consensus earnings estimate is 25 cents per share. For 2013, the earnings estimate also is 25 cents.

Slashed dividend

Frontier has focused on rebranding itself, selling more broadband services and cutting expenses. Management expects to shave $600 million in expenses this year alone. To save money, Frontier also recently slashed its dividend by 47 percent.

Nevertheless, Frontier’s current dividend yield is 9 percent, which S&P analysts say is supported by a strong and stable cash flow.

Of the 20 analysts followed by Thomson/First Call, three have strong buy recommendations and five have buys, with 10 holds and two underperforms.

UBS analysts have a buy rating on Frontier, noting its better than expected fourth-quarter results and higher synergies. Analysts also lowered Frontier’s price target to $5, though, admitting surprise at the magnitude of Frontier’s dividend cut.

The company next reports on May 17.

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Thursday, 29 March 2012 09:23 AM
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