Frontier Communications Corporation (FTR - Free Report) reported a narrower-than-expected loss in first-quarter 2018.
Top- and Bottom-Line Results
Frontier Communications reported an adjusted loss of 58 cents per share in the first quarter. The reported figure was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 83 cents. It also came in narrower than the loss of $1.20 per share posted in the year-ago quarter.
Revenues in the reported quarter came in at $2,199 million, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,192 million. However, the top line was lower than the year-ago tally of $2,356 million.
Revenues in the Customer segment were $2,102 million in the reported quarter, down 2.6% year over year.
Subsidy and other regulatory segments revenues in the first quarter came in at $97 million, tanking 50.8% year over year.
Costs and Margins
Selling, general and administrative expenses came in at $469 million, down from $542 million recorded in the year-ago tally. Total operating expenses came in at $1,833 million, down from $2,039 million recorded in the prior-year quarter. Operating income in the reported quarter was $366 million, up 15.5% year over year.
Operating margin was 16.6%, up 310 basis points (bps) year over year. Adjusted Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) margin expanded 160 bps in the quarter to 41.3%.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
Exiting the first quarter, Frontier Communications had cash and cash equivalents of $201 million, down from $362 million recorded as of Dec 31, 2017. Long-term debt summed $16,470 million, slightly down from $16,970 million recorded at the end of 2017.
In the first three months of 2018, Frontier Communications generated $251 million cash from operating activities, lower than $300 million secured in the year-ago quarter. Total capital expenditure in the reported quarter was $297 million, as against $316 million recorded in first-quarter 2017.
Frontier Communications intends to widen its market share on the back of superior customer relationships. Rise in strength of subscribers from niche end-markets, like California, Florida and Texas, is expected to drive the company’s top-line performance, going forward. It also remains on track to improve its liquidity and strengthen the balance sheet.
This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company anticipates to secure Adjusted EBITDA of roughly $3.6 billion and operating cash flow of approximately $800 million in 2018. Capital expenditure for the year is estimated to lie in the band of $1-$1.2 billion.
Stocks to Consider
Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Utilities sector are listed below:
Great Plains Energy Inc sports a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy). The company has pulled off an average positive earnings surprise of 5.13%, in the past four quarters. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Vistra Energy Corp. (VST - Free Report) also flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. The company came up with an outstanding average positive earnings surprise of 514.58% over the preceding four quarters.
Ameresco, Inc. (AMRC - Free Report) carries a Zacks Rank of 2. The company generated an average positive earnings surprise of 12.14% during the same time frame.
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