U.S. Markets open in 1 hr 24 mins
  • S&P Futures

    3,944.50
    +46.75 (+1.20%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    31,492.00
    +290.00 (+0.93%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    12,071.50
    +193.25 (+1.63%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    1,801.60
    +26.70 (+1.50%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    112.82
    +0.61 (+0.54%)
     
  • Gold

    1,839.70
    -1.50 (-0.08%)
     
  • Silver

    21.94
    +0.03 (+0.15%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.0576
    -0.0011 (-0.1058%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    2.8550
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     
  • Vix

    28.57
    -2.39 (-7.72%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2470
    -0.0005 (-0.0362%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    128.0510
    +0.2570 (+0.2011%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    30,408.72
    +973.53 (+3.31%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    678.96
    +26.72 (+4.10%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,440.86
    +138.12 (+1.89%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    26,739.03
    +336.19 (+1.27%)
     

Consolidated Communications Reports Third Quarter 2021 Results

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·17 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Delivering on fiber upgrade strategy with speed and agility to meet consumer needs for reliable, high-speed broadband services.

  • Completed 97,000 fiber upgrades in third quarter; on track to upgrade over 300,000 fiber locations in 2021 and extend fiber services to 70% of Company’s footprint by 2025.

  • Increased fiber net adds 20% year to date, added approximately 11,000 consumer fiber Gig-capable subscribers in 2021.

Company announced agreement to sell non-core Ohio business, consistent with portfolio review.

Final stage of Searchlight investment expected to close in fourth quarter 2021.

MATTOON, Ill., October 28, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNSL) (the "Company" or "Consolidated"), a top 10 fiber provider in the U.S., today reported results for the third quarter 2021.

"We are executing well and ahead of schedule on our fiber network deployment and are on track to upgrade more than 300,000 locations to gig-capable fiber this year," said Bob Udell, president and chief executive officer at Consolidated Communications. "So far in 2021, we have increased consumer fiber connections 20% year to date and grew consumer data average revenue per unit 7%. This progress positions Consolidated for ongoing growth and opportunity as we prepare to launch a new brand, introducing a superior fiber product and exceptional customer experience."

Third Quarter Financial Highlights (compared, where applicable, to third quarter 2020):

  • Revenue totaled $318.6 million, generating Adjusted EBITDA of $127.4 million.

  • Consumer broadband revenue was $68.6 million, up 2.1%.

  • Commercial and carrier data-transport revenue was $91.1 million, up 1.1%.

  • Net cash from operating activities was $110.1 million; cash and short-term investments totaled $253.6 million.

  • Capital expenditures totaled $144.3 million, reflecting the investment related to the fiber expansion plan and 97,000 upgrades completed in the quarter.

Operating expenses were $206.6 million, $2.9 million or 1.4% lower than a year ago. The primary drivers were network cost efficiencies including lower cost of video programming, and the receipt of property tax rebates.

Income from operations totaled $32.5 million, down compared to $37.4 million a year ago. The year-over-year change was primarily due to a revenue decline of $8.5 million combined with a non-cash loss on sale of assets offset by a $6.5 million decline in depreciation and amortization expense. As part of an ongoing asset evaluation, the Company announced in September that it entered into a definitive agreement to sell substantially all of the assets of the Company’s non-core, rural ILEC business located in Ohio for approximately $26 million and recorded a pre-tax non-cash loss of $5.7 million during the quarter, which included approximately $22 million of allocated goodwill. This transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Net interest expense was $43.2 million, an increase of $11.5 million compared to a year ago due to the recapitalization of the balance sheet associated with the debt refinancing and the receipt of the $350 million Searchlight Capital Partners strategic investment in October 2020. Non-cash interest on the Searchlight note combined with amortization of deferred financing costs and the discount totaled $10.9 million in the third quarter 2021.

At Sept. 30, 2021, the Company recognized a non-cash loss of $2.2 million related to a change in the fair value of the Searchlight contingent payment obligations.

Cash distributions from the Company’s wireless partnerships totaled $11.1 million, compared to $12.3 million a year ago.

GAAP net loss was $4.5 million, compared to net income of $14.6 million for the same period a year ago. GAAP net loss per share was ($0.05) compared to net income per share of $0.20 in the prior year. Adjusted diluted net income per share excludes certain items as outlined in the table provided in this release. Adjusted diluted net income per share was $0.18 compared to $0.23 in the year ago quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA was $127.4 million, a decrease of 3.7% from $132.2 million in the prior year primarily due to declines in voice and special access revenues partially offset by lower operating expenses.

"We’re making good progress on our multi-year, fiber-first strategy and business transformation," said Steve Childers, chief financial officer at Consolidated Communications. "We have a fully funded build plan, with a strong cash and liquidity position, and we are on track to return to growth. We are increasing our capex guidance to reflect the proactive steps we have taken to secure equipment and fiber to mitigate ongoing supply chain challenges affecting our industry and the broader economy. The final investment of our Searchlight partnership is expected to close by the end of the year, following FCC approval."

2021 Outlook

Consolidated Communications updated its capex guidance for 2021 based on the Company’s current pace of its build plan. The Company affirmed the other metrics included in its 2021 outlook.

Capital expenditures

$440 million to $460 million

Previous: $400 million to $420 million

Adjusted EBITDA

$500 million to $510 million

no change

Cash interest expense

$130 million to $135 million

no change

Cash income taxes

$2 million to $4 million

no change

Conference Call

Consolidated’s third quarter 2021 earnings conference call will be webcast live today at 10 a.m. ET. The webcast and materials will be available on the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website at http://ir.consolidated.com. The live conference call dial-in number for analysts and investors is 833-794-0898, conference ID 9769405. A phone replay of the conference call will be available through Nov. 4 by calling 800-585-8367, enter ID 9769405.

About Consolidated Communications

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSL) is dedicated to moving people, businesses and communities forward by delivering the latest reliable communications solutions. Consumers, businesses and wireless and wireline carriers depend on Consolidated for a wide range of high-speed internet, data, phone, security, cloud and wholesale carrier solutions. With a network spanning 50,000 fiber route miles, Consolidated is a top 10 U.S. fiber provider, turning technology into solutions that are backed by exceptional customer support. Learn more at consolidated.com.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release, as well as the conference call, includes disclosures regarding "EBITDA," "adjusted EBITDA," "total net debt to last 12 month adjusted EBITDA ratio" or "Net debt leverage ratio," and "adjusted diluted net income (loss) per share," all of which are non-GAAP financial measures and described in this section as not being in compliance with Regulation S-X. Accordingly, they should not be construed as alternatives to net cash from operating or investing activities, cash and cash equivalents, cash flows from operations, net income or net income per share as defined by GAAP and are not, on their own, necessarily indicative of cash available to fund cash needs as determined in accordance with GAAP. In addition, not all companies use identical calculations, and the non-GAAP financial measures may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies. A reconciliation of the differences between these non-GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP is included in the tables that follow.

Adjusted EBITDA is comprised of EBITDA, adjusted for certain items as permitted or required by the lenders under our credit agreement in place at the end of each quarter in the periods presented. The tables that follow include an explanation of how adjusted EBITDA is calculated for each of the periods presented with the reconciliation to net income. EBITDA is defined as net earnings before interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization on a historical basis.

We present adjusted EBITDA for several reasons. Management believes adjusted EBITDA is useful as a means to evaluate our ability to fund our estimated uses of cash (including interest on our debt). In addition, we have presented adjusted EBITDA to investors in the past because it is frequently used by investors, securities analysts and other interested parties in the evaluation of companies in our industry, and management believes presenting it here provides a measure of consistency in our financial reporting. Adjusted EBITDA, referred to as Available Cash in our credit agreement, is also a component of the restrictive covenants and financial ratios contained in our credit agreement that requires us to maintain compliance with these covenants and limit certain activities, such as our ability to incur debt. The definitions in these covenants and ratios are based on adjusted EBITDA after giving effect to specified charges. In addition, adjusted EBITDA provides our board of directors with meaningful information, with other data, assumptions and considerations, to measure our ability to service and repay debt. We present the related "total net debt to last 12 month adjusted EBITDA ratio" or "Net debt leverage ratio" principally to put other non-GAAP measures in context and facilitate comparisons by investors, security analysts and others; this ratio differs in certain respects from the similar ratio used in our credit agreement. These measures differ in certain respects from the ratios used in our senior notes indenture.

These non-GAAP financial measures have certain shortcomings. In particular, adjusted EBITDA does not represent the residual cash flows available for discretionary expenditures, since items such as debt repayment and interest payments are not deducted from such measure. Because adjusted EBITDA is a component of the ratio of total net debt to last twelve month adjusted EBITDA, these measures are also subject to the material limitations discussed above. In addition, the ratio of total net debt to last twelve month adjusted EBITDA is subject to the risk that we may not be able to use the cash on the balance sheet to reduce our debt on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Management believes this ratio is useful as a means to evaluate our ability to incur additional indebtedness in the future.

We present the non-GAAP measure "adjusted diluted net income (loss) per share" because our net income (loss) and net income (loss) per share are regularly affected by items that occur at irregular intervals or are non-cash items. We believe that disclosing these measures assists investors, securities analysts and other interested parties in evaluating both our company over time and the relative performance of the companies in our industry.

Safe Harbor

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements reflect, among other things, our current expectations, plans, strategies, and anticipated financial results. There are a number of risks, uncertainties, and conditions that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include a number of factors related to our business, including the uncertainties relating to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the Company’s business, results of operations, cash flows, stock price and employees; the possibility that any of the anticipated benefits of the strategic investment from Searchlight or our refinancing of outstanding debt, including our senior secured credit facilities, will not be realized; the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against the Company or its directors; the ability to obtain regulatory approvals and meet other closing conditions to the investment on a timely basis or at all, including the risk that regulatory approvals required for the investment are not obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated or that could adversely affect the Company or the expected benefits of the investment; the anticipated use of proceeds of the strategic investment; economic and financial market conditions generally and economic conditions in our service areas; various risks to the price and volatility of our common stock; changes in the valuation of pension plan assets; the substantial amount of debt and our ability to repay or refinance it or incur additional debt in the future; our need for a significant amount of cash to service and repay the debt restrictions contained in our debt agreements that limit the discretion of management in operating the business; regulatory changes, including changes to subsidies, rapid development and introduction of new technologies and intense competition in the telecommunications industry; risks associated with our possible pursuit of acquisitions; system failures; cyber-attacks, information or security breaches or technology failure of ours or of a third party; losses of large customers or government contracts; risks associated with the rights-of-way for the network; disruptions in the relationship with third party vendors; losses of key management personnel and the inability to attract and retain highly qualified management and personnel in the future; changes in the extensive governmental legislation and regulations governing telecommunications providers and the provision of telecommunications services; new or changing tax laws or regulations; telecommunications carriers disputing and/or avoiding their obligations to pay network access charges for use of our network; high costs of regulatory compliance; the competitive impact of legislation and regulatory changes in the telecommunications industry; and liability and compliance costs regarding environmental regulations; and risks associated with discontinuing paying dividends on our common stock. A detailed discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from such forward-looking statements are discussed in more detail in our filings with the SEC, including our reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Many of these circumstances are beyond our ability to control or predict. Moreover, forward-looking statements necessarily involve assumptions on our part. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "project," "intend," "plan," "should," "may," "will," "would," "will be," "will continue" or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company and its subsidiaries to be different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements that appear throughout this press release. Furthermore, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Except as required under the federal securities laws or the rules and regulations of the SEC, we disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets

(Dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)

(Unaudited)

September 30,

December 31,

2021

2020

ASSETS

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

98,682

$

155,561

Short-term investments

154,963

Accounts receivable, net

133,524

137,646

Income tax receivable

1,516

1,072

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

56,505

46,382

Assets held for sale

25,990

Total current assets

471,180

340,661

Property, plant and equipment, net

1,905,661

1,760,152

Investments

109,307

111,665

Goodwill

1,013,243

1,035,274

Customer relationships, net

83,782

113,418

Other intangible assets

11,175

10,557

Other assets

134,603

135,573

Total assets

$

3,728,951

$

3,507,300

LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

Current liabilities:

Accounts payable

$

47,930

$

25,283

Advance billings and customer deposits

55,192

49,544

Accrued compensation

66,723

74,957

Accrued interest

52,621

21,194

Accrued expense

91,574

81,931

Current portion of long-term debt and finance lease obligations

6,944

17,561

Liabilities held for sale

90

Total current liabilities

321,074

270,470

Long-term debt and finance lease obligations

2,115,266

1,932,666

Deferred income taxes

179,479

171,021

Pension and other post-retirement obligations

269,119

300,373

Convertible security interest

262,124

238,701

Contingent payment rights

105,830

123,241

Other long-term liabilities

74,423

81,600

Total liabilities

3,327,315

3,118,072

Shareholders' equity:

Common stock, par value $0.01 per share; 150,000,000 and 100,000,000 shares authorized as of September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively, 98,754,185 and 79,227,607 shares outstanding as of September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively

988

792

Additional paid-in capital

649,667

525,673

Accumulated deficit

(156,690

)

(34,514

)

Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net

(99,547

)

(109,418

)

Noncontrolling interest

7,218

6,695

Total shareholders' equity

401,636

389,228

Total liabilities and shareholders' equity

$

3,728,951

$

3,507,300

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations

(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)

(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

September 30,

2021

2020

2021

2020

Net revenues

$

318,584

$

327,066

$

963,753

$

977,904

Operating expenses:

Cost of services and products

142,507

144,428

431,797

421,717

Selling, general and administrative expenses

64,100

65,066

199,948

197,679

Loss on impairment of assets held for sale

5,704

5,704

Depreciation and amortization

73,765

80,220

225,455

244,024

Income from operations

32,508

37,352

100,849

114,484

Other income (expense):

Interest expense, net of interest income

(43,176

)

(31,661

)

(137,022

)

(95,215

)

Gain (loss) on extinguishment of debt

(17,101

)

234

Change in fair value of contingent payment rights

(2,205

)

(99,619

)

Other income, net

13,345

13,467

36,306

38,529

Income (loss) before income taxes

472

19,158

(116,587

)

58,032

Income tax expense

4,953

4,576

5,066

13,892

Net income (loss)

(4,481

)

14,582

(121,653

)

44,140

Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interest

240

72

523

243

Net income (loss) attributable to common shareholders

$

(4,721

)

$

14,510

$

(122,176

)

$

43,897

Net income (loss) per basic and diluted common shares attributable to common shareholders

$

(0.05

)

$

0.20

$

(1.47

)

$

0.60

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

(Dollars in thousands)

(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

September 30,

2021

2020

2021

2020

OPERATING ACTIVITIES

Net income (loss)

$

(4,481

)

$

14,582

$

(121,653

)

$

44,140

Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to net cash provided by operating activities:

Depreciation and amortization

73,765

80,220

225,455

244,024

Cash distributions from wireless partnerships in excess of (less than) earnings

107

857

1,345

1,001

Pension and post-retirement contributions in excess of expense

(11,755

)

(13,681

)

(29,968

)

(29,666

)

Non-cash, stock-based compensation

3,217

2,263

7,160

5,487

Amortization of deferred financing costs and discounts

4,472

1,222

13,121

3,628

Non-cash interest expense on convertible security interest

8,230

24,334

Loss (gain) on extinguishment of debt

17,101

(234

)

Loss on change in fair value of contingent payment rights

2,205

99,619

Loss on impairment of assets held for sale

5,704

5,704

Other adjustments, net

(99

)

(255

)

3,632

(4,485

)

Changes in operating assets and liabilities, net

28,783

30,421

50,129

33,455

Net cash provided by operating activities

110,148

115,629

295,979

297,350

INVESTING ACTIVITIES

Purchase of property, plant and equipment, net

(144,292

)

(55,978

)

(339,488

)

(152,215

)

Purchase of short-term investments

(64,996

)

(154,963

)

Proceeds from sale of assets

37

904

126

6,977

Proceeds from sale of investments

1,198

426

Net cash used in investing activities

(209,251

)

(55,074

)

(493,127

)

(144,812

)

FINANCING ACTIVITIES

Proceeds from bond offering

400,000

Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt

150,000

40,000

Payment of finance lease obligations

(1,529

)

(2,124

)

(4,465

)

(7,243

)

Payment on long-term debt

(4,588

)

(397,000

)

(93,763

)

Retirement of senior notes

(4,208

)

Payment of financing costs

(8,266

)

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

(1,529

)

(6,712

)

140,269

(65,214

)

Net change in cash and cash equivalents

(100,632

)

53,843

(56,879

)

87,324

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

199,314

45,876

155,561

12,395

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

$

98,682

$

99,719

$

98,682

$

99,719

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc.

Consolidated Revenue by Category

(Dollars in thousands)

(Unaudited)

Three Months Ended

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

September 30,

2021

2020

2021

2020

Commercial and carrier:

Data and transport services (includes VoIP)

$

91,101

$

90,153

$

272,262

$

269,297

Voice services

42,619

45,343

130,359

136,838

Other

10,580

10,909

29,785

33,027

144,300

146,405

432,406

439,162

Consumer:

Broadband (VoIP and Data)

68,604

67,163

202,340

196,806

Video services

16,163

18,452

49,743

56,796

Voice services

40,587

42,775

121,180

129,072

125,354

128,390

373,263

382,674

Subsidies

...

17,264

18,064

52,068

54,587

Network access

29,923

32,009

92,641

93,947

Other products and services

1,743

2,198

13,375