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Cincinnati Bell (CBB) Incurs Wider-Than-Expected Loss in Q3

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Cincinnati Bell Inc. (CBB - Free Report) reported mixed third-quarter 2019 financial results, wherein the top line declined year over year but GAAP net loss narrowed. Following the results, the company’s share price increased 7.12% in yesterday’s trading session to eventually close at $5.57.

Net Loss

On a GAAP basis, net loss for the September quarter was $16.2 million or loss of 32 cents per share compared with net loss of $20.3 million or loss of 41 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The improvement was primarily due to higher operating income.

Non-GAAP net loss came in at $15.4 million or loss of 31 cents per share compared with net loss of $7.9 million or loss of 16 cents per share in the prior-year quarter. The bottom line was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 15 cents.

Cincinnati Bell Inc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Revenues

Quarterly revenues fell 1.1% year over year to $382.5 million primarily due to lower revenues at Entertainment and Communications unit. The top line, however, surpassed the consensus estimate of $381 million.

Segment Results

Revenues from Entertainment and Communications declined 1.9% year over year to $248.5 million, with Cincinnati contributing $171 million and Hawaii $78 million. Customers transitioning away from lower margin linear video programming in favor of over-the-top solutions resulted in revenue decrease in both the markets. Adjusted EBITDA was $93 million, up 2% from year-ago quarter.

IT Services and Hardware revenues were $140.5 million compared with $141.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $12 million for the third quarter, consistent year over year excluding the impact of GE’s insourcing initiatives.

Other Details

Overall operating income was $22.8 million compared with $14.5 million in the year-ago quarter, driven by lower transaction and integration costs. Adjusted EBITDA increased 3.2% year over year to $101.8 million.

Cash Flow & Liquidity

During the first nine months of 2019, Cincinnati Bell generated $188.9 million of cash from operating activities compared with $122.8 million in the year-ago period. As of Sep 30, 2019, the regional telephone company’s non-GAAP net debt totaled $1,920.9 million.

2019 Guidance Reiterated

Cincinnati Bell has reiterated its guidance for full-year 2019, indicating expected contribution from Hawaiian Telcom. Notably, the company continues to anticipate revenues between $1,515 million and $1,575 million, and adjusted EBITDA in the range of $400-$410 million.

Outlook

Cincinnati Bell is focused on transforming itself from a legacy copper-based telecommunications company to a technology company with contemporary fiber assets servicing both consumer and business customers with flexible data, video, voice and IP solutions. With a well-designed marketing program, popular brand value and strong reputation of offering high-quality service, the company expects to increase its Entertainment and Communications revenues. Also, the expansion of its geographic footprint in IT services has brought enhanced scale and client diversification, supporting its transformation to a hybrid IT solutions provider.

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Cincinnati Bell currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader sector are TELUS Corporation (TU - Free Report) , Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) and ATN International, Inc. (ATNI - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

TELUS has long-term earnings growth expectation of 6.3%.

Verizon surpassed earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 2.2%.

ATN International surpassed earnings estimates twice in the trailing four quarters, the average positive surprise being 143.9%.

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