Fiber Valuations Update, and a New Home For My Charts

April 8th, 2010 by · 4 Comments

I have taken my series of competitive telecom trends and added it to the resources box.  Under that item you will be able to find current versions of the charts of relative revenue growth, EBITDA margin, etc that we have looked at here several times in the past.  Additionally, I have brought my Relative Valuations (i.e. EV/EBITDA multiples) chart into the fold, which was a bit more complicated since the data needed to be recollected for data points to match up.  If you have enjoyed these charts in the pasts, please check them out in their new home and let me know how you like it.  For your viewing pleasure now though, here is the latest Relative Valuations chart:

The chart begins with the close of 2008, which was one of the darkest moments in the recession that is now hopefully fading into oblivion.  Therefore it is no great surprise that the overall trend is up.  In the first quarter, that continued for most in the sector as most companies started to get more credit for their efforts throughout 2009 and now into 2010, but with a few notable exceptions.  abvt has come back to earth a bit after its Q4 earnings were met with a bit of a cold shoulder, but that looks temporary to me.  And cbey is getting less credit for its EBITDA than it has for some time.  What Abovenet and CBeyond have in common is that they have been putting up the best revenue growth  numbers in the the sector for two years now.  XO Holdings (news, filings) has also gotten a bit less credit for its efforts, but their valuation is better viewed in Icahn's shadow than alongside their industry peers.

All of these charts will automatically update as I harvest the new data points during earnings season, and I will refer to them rather than republish them each quarter.  In setting this up, I took the advice offered by former blogging neighbor and current Infonetics analyst Andrew Schmitt (Thanks Andrew!), and I moved the whole shebang onto a Google Documents platform.  I had actually tried this a year ago, but Google's applications simply weren't mature enough at the time.  If the new setup works as I have designed it, all I need to do to keep it current is record a few numbers when I read the earnings press releases that I read and often comment on here anyway.  The charts will then update automatically.

There were issues with my previous formulation of in that EBITDA was collected yearly from projections while enterprise value was collected quarterly, which made the results somewhat inconsistent though still quite interesting.  That has now been resolved, and the plot now uses EBITDA over the trailing four quarters.  In the case of 3/31/09, projections for net debt and EBITDA levels have been used and therefore the result should be seen as a reasonable estimation that will be corrected as earnings season progresses.  All data for quarters before that are free of guesswork.

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Categories: CLEC · Financials · Internet Backbones · Metro fiber

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4 Comments So Far


  • p. merch says:

    Nice job…but the color impaired (moi) used your older symbol description to discern which company was which. Sorry for this faiblesse on my part.

    • Rob Powell says:

      Ouch, sorry about that – I didn’t consider that possibility. Google docs doesn’t seem to have that level of flexibility for its charts, only squares. At least not yet anyway. I will look into finding alternatives.

  • Dave Rusin says:

    These are headed higher – there is an imbalance between supply and demand growth … it’s not 2001-2003 anymore …

    Nice work.

  • carlk says:

    Rob, if you could list the key box in order of leader to laggard, the color differentiations would be less important for less discerning eyes. I had inquired about this earlier. In the above chart, for example, (3) would be the first or top name versus second one listed in the key.

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