Competitive telecommunications carrier PAETEC (news, filings) announced its expansion to Portland, Oregon yesterday, opening a sales office and adding 15 staff in the new market. They will be offering a full range of data and voice products to enterprises large and small. Portland is a more traditional market for PAETEC, meaning they don’t have their own fiber but rather lease from those who do. That does make expansion a bit easier to do in a difficult economic climate since capex isn’t so front loaded.
It’s not a big move, but the fact that PAETEC is expanding at all is news in and of itself. The company has been reeling from economic pressures since summer: substantially cutting their forecasts in August, scaling back their plans for a new headquarters building in Rochester, and cutting costs via a round of layoffs. The company’s revenues are perhaps more sensitive to a difficult economy because of their fiber-free diet, i.e. their customers generally have a greater range of alternatives. The market has treated their stock price roughly because of it.
However, it now appears that PAETEC realized the danger early, and acted swiftly. Their willingness to enter Portland may imply that the ship is no longer taking on water. The company has not yet set a date for Q4 earnings, but it will probably be in the second half of February.
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