Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. announced impressive financial results in the fourth quarter of 2017. Quarterly total revenues were approximately $2,023 million, reflecting an increase of 10.3% year over year. Fourth-quarter net income came in at around $288 million, up 18.5% year over year. Net earnings per American Depository Share (ADS) were 37 cents, increasing 19.4% from the year-ago quarter.
Operating income was approximately $347.4 million, up 5.1% year over year, while operating costs increased 5.2% to around $1,673.8 million. Operating margin increased marginally to 17.2% from 17.1% in the year-ago quarter.
The fourth quarter of 2017 EBITDA was $612.7 million, up 2% year over year. Quarterly EBITDA margin came in at 36.5%, down from 37.5% in the prior-year quarter. In the reported quarter, Chunghwa generated around $833.2 million of cash from operations, down 20.8% year over year. Cash and cash equivalents as of Dec 31, 2017 decreased 7.1% to about $959.4 million.
The Mobile Communications segment accounted for approximately $962.1 million of the total revenues in fourth-quarter 2017, up 2.1% year over year. The Internet segment contributed around $257.4 million, increasing 2.4%. The Domestic Fixed-line Communications segment registered $651.6 million in revenues, up 10.9%. The International Fixed-line Communications segment generated $117.9 million, down 0.3%. Other Business registered the remaining $34.2 million, down 1.3%.
As of Dec 31, 2017, total broadband subscriber base was more than 4.46541 million, of which FTTx subscriber base accounted for 79.5%, with around 3.55 million subscribers. Broadband subscribers signing up for 100 Mbps or higher speed connections were more than 1.28 million, up 9.5% year over year. HiNet subscriber base totaled 3.73 million, down 0.7% year over year. Mobile subscriber base was 10.45 million, down 3.1% year over year. Mobile internet subscriber base was 7.35 million, increasing 7.2% year over year. 4G wireless subscribers base stands at 7.99 million. The International /Domestic Fixed-line subscriber base was 10.69 million.
Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
For 2018, Chunghwa expects total revenues to increase 1.7-2.4% year over year to NT$231.47-NT$232.97 billion. Operating costs are expected to increase 0.7-1.9% to NT$182.07-NT$184.24 billion. Income from operations is expected to be NT$47.17-NT$50.84 billion, up 0.9-8.8% year over year. Non-operating income is estimated at NT$0.94-NT$1.05 billion, reflecting a substantial 26.8-19.2% decline from 2017. Income before income tax and net income are expected to be NT$48.11-NT$51.89 billion (down 0.2-8.0%) and NT$37.25-NT$40.31 billion (down 4.1-3.7%), respectively. Earnings per share are expected to be NT$4.80-NT$5.20. EBITDA is projected at NT$ 79.11-NT$82.79 billion, up 0.6-5.3%. Capital expenditure is expected to rise a substantial 22.4% year over year to NT$33.06 billion.
Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider
Chunghwa carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). A few better-ranked stocks in the same space are BT Group Plc. (BT - Free Report) , Telecom Italia S.P.A (TI - Free Report) and China Mobile Ltd. (CHL - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Today's Stocks from Zacks' Hottest Strategies
It's hard to believe, even for us at Zacks. But while the market gained +18.8% from 2016 - Q1 2017, our top stock-picking screens have returned +157.0%, +128.0%, +97.8%, +94.7%, and +90.2% respectively.
And this outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. Over the years it has been remarkably consistent. From 2000 - Q1 2017, the composite yearly average gain for these strategies has beaten the market more than 11X over. Maybe even more remarkable is the fact that we're willing to share their latest stocks with you without cost or obligation.
See Them Free>>