The autumn M&A parade is still marching on by. Yesterday, while I was travelling, Lumos Networks made its first inorganic move in quite a while, announcing the acquisition of Clarity Communications Group.
Clarity Communications Group has managed to operate below my radar until now, but operates some 750 route miles of fiber hooking up 75 on-net locations. The bulk of that comes from a 550 mile fiber ring in eastern North Carolina connecting Raleigh and Wilmington. They also have some metro fiber in several markets in South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia as well as data center space in Raleigh and Greensboro.
Thus, Lumos Networks has found a way to quickly expand its footprint southward, deep into North Carolina, while also probably bringing on some local talent. I've long thought that might be their next logical target, complementing the company's depth in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. It's probably just a starter set, upon which we will see Lumos announce some organic build-out projects covering more of the state. Lumos didn't provide details on the transaction itself, which they expect to close in the first quarter of 2017.
Lumos also reported earnings yesterday, posting revenues of $51.8M, EBITDA of $24.3M and earnings per share of $0.04. That was a bit lighter than analysts hoped for on the top line, but a penny or two above when it came to the bottom line. The company maintained its full year guidance.
Lumos also said it has finished its homework on the separation of its legacy LEC businesses. They have now started actually separating the businesses and have engaged UBS to help them explore strategic alternatives for those pieces, as promised.
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