For quite some time now Cogent has been regularly boosting the cash it’s giving back to shareholders via its dividend, and it finished 2014 with that trend intact. Revenue and earnings per share were up sequentially, but perhaps not by as much as the market was hoping. Here are their numbers in some context:
|$ in millions||Q4/12||Q1/13||Q2/13||Q3/13||Q4/13|
|Earnings per share||-0.01||0.01||0.03||0.05||1.10|
|Adj. EBITDA Margin||34.6%||33.5%||34.5%||35.0%||35.0%|
Cogent has remained very quiet on the PR front, simply executing on its plan to grow while returning cash to shareholders. Earnings per share saw a big one-time benefit from an a tax-related item, else they would have been $0.05 per share, a penny below analyst expectations. Without it Margins held very steady during the quarter, as did the rate of addition of new buildings to the company’s network. But headcount was up sharply again hitting 706, I’ll have to listen to the call to see what they’re up to there.
The regularly quarterly dividend went up another penny to $0.16 per common share, and they threw in another $0.23 per share under the company’s return of capital program for a total of $0.39 per share.
Cogent has eschewed M&A for many years now, believing the multiples being paid for network assets are simply too high. One can’t help but wonder if that means they’d take an offer at those lofty valuations, but there has been no chatter on that front either that I have heard.
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