BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) -- Home and business security company ADT Corp. said Thursday that net income in its latest quarter dropped 27 percent as customer turnover increased.
In early afternoon trading, its stock plunged $6.51, or 17 percent, to $31.31. Earlier in the day it set a 52-week low of $29.56.
Customer growth in the October-December quarter "did not meet our expectations this quarter," CEO Naren Gursahaney said in a prepared statement.
The company had almost 6.5 million customers at the end of the quarter, up 0.7 percent from a year earlier. But it added fewer customers and turnover rose to 14.2 percent from 13.4 percent.
ADT said it lost most of those customers because they moved as housing prices recovered, and due to customers not paying. It said it is using tighter credit screening policies and customer loyalty programs, among other efforts, which it believes will reduce attrition by the end of the year.
Gursahaney also said ADT is improving its dealers and its process for generating leads for prospective customers to boost subscribers.
For the fiscal first quarter, its net income was $77 million, or 39 cents per share, down from $105 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier. Not counting expenses related to its 2012 spinoff from Tyco, as well as other one-time items, earnings were 43 cents per share. Revenue rose 4 percent, to $839 million from $809 million.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been expecting a profit of 49 cents per share on revenue of $850 million.