Now-bigger Consolidated Communications reports earnings growth

Now-bigger Consolidated Communications reports earnings growth

MATTOON — Consolidated Communications Holdings said it's pleased with first-quarter results that show growth in its video, data and Internet connections even as its voice connections dropped.

The Mattoon-based company, which acquired SureWest Communications last July, reported first-quarter net income of $6.9 million, up from $1.9 million in the first quarter of 2012.

For shareholders, that resulted in diluted earnings attributable to the company of 17 cents per share, up from 6 cents per share in the first quarter of 2012.

"We had an outstanding quarter with strong financial results and continued operating and integration success," said Bob Currey, Consolidated's president and CEO, in a release.

When figures are adjusted to make comparisons of the merged company in the first quarter with the two separate companies a year earlier, revenues remained flat at $156 million.

"Increases in data, Internet and subsidy revenues were offset by declines in local calling, network access, long distance and prison services (revenues)," the company stated.

Adjusted earnings before interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization amounted to $74.1 million for the merged company, compared with $65.6 million for the two companies a year earlier. That was an increase of 13 percent.

Statistics for the two companies show the number of data and Internet connections grew about 5 percent, from 238,581 to 250,350, over the year.

Meanwhile, the number of video connections grew at a slightly faster pace, from 102,006 to 107,475.

The number of local-exchange telephone access lines fell from 277,051 to 265,855, while the number of other voice connections dropped from 135,082 to 127,866.

Consolidated Communications provides communications services — including high-speed Internet, local and long distance service and Internet Protocol-based digital television — to customers in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Kansas and Missouri.

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