Beyond Wireless, Earnings Season Has Been a Bandwidth Bummer

February 20th, 2013 by · Leave a Comment

For those public US bandwidth operators that aren’t wireless driven and have reported Q4 earnings thus far, the market has not been impressed at all. While AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have been stable or even up, take a look at how these six companies have fared in the stock market since the month began:

Closing price
on 1/31/13

Closing price
on 2/19/13
 % change
Akamai 40.71 38.58 -5.2%
CenturyLink 40.45 34.14 -15.6%
Earthlink 6.80 6.17 -9.2%
Level 3 Communications 23.82 21.20 -11.0%
tw telecom 27.63 26.29 -4.8%
Windstream 9.74 8.94 -8.2%

The story is completely different in each case of course.  Akamai has come back some, it used to be down more than 10%.  Windstream went down in sympathy with CenturyLink’s dividend bombshell, but it didn’t come back up when it maintained its own – at least not yet.  Level 3 and Earthlink both came up a bit short where it counted.  tw telecom had a fairly steady quarter, but has not been immune from the impending gloom.

And of course, we haven’t heard from everyone.   Fairpoint and Frontier haven’t reported yet, but they’re both down about 9% this month already anyway.  Cogent reports tomorrow morning, and they’re up since the beginning of the month and will look to buck the trend (someone has to!).  Over the next two weeks they’ll be joined by CBeyond, Consolidated, Lumos Networks, HickoryTech, Inteliquent, and others.  But the six above cover a pretty wide spread.

Integra and Zayo had some positive things to say, but they’re both privately held so the market’s opinion isn’t knowable.  It does, however, emphasize how much easier it is these days to be non-public in the bandwidth business.  The crowd out there is a tough one at the moment.

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Categories: Fiber Networks · Financials

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