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 GREENVILLE, S.C., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Dial Page, Inc. (NASDAQ: DPGE) today reported third quarter revenue of $15.3 million, a 13 percent increase from $13.5 million for the same period a year ago. The total number of pagers in service increased 23 percent from a year earlier, while the net loss narrowed to 29 cents a share from 48 cents on an increase in the number of shares outstanding.
 "During the quarter we were able to significantly increase our overall units in service as well as the market penetration of our high margin alphanumeric pagers," said Jeff Hultman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our core paging business is performing well, and we are very excited about the expected groundbreaking for our digital mobile phone network next year. Our operating and administrative costs will increase as we prepare to make the network operational, but we expect the eventual payoff to be far greater than our investment."
 The number of Dial Page MessageWriter(R) alphanumeric pagers in service, which store and deliver text messages on a liquid crystal display, increased by 3,437 units during the quarter to 38,326 units, a 23 percent increase from the prior year's quarter. MessageWriter represented 15.6 percent of total pagers in service at September 30, 1993, compared to 14.9 percent of total pagers at the end of the second quarter ended June 30, 1993. The total number of pagers in service at the end of the third quarter increased 23 percent from the prior year's period to 244,245. This represents a 19 percent increase from the beginning of the calendar year.
 Operating expenses increased from $8.5 million to $10.2 million as the Company grew its units in service and incurred up front marketing costs associated with its retail distribution channel. Included in 1993 operating expenses are approximately $230,000 of costs relating to Dial Call, the Company's digital mobile phone subsidiary.
 Operating cash flow -- or earnings before depreciation, amortization, interest and taxes -- the key performance measure in the paging industry -- for the third quarter increased to $5.1 million from $5.0 million in the prior year's quarter. Profit margins for the third quarter were 33.3 percent compared to 37.1 percent in the prior year's quarter. These results include negative operating cash flow from the Company's three start-up operations. Net loss for the quarter was $2.4 millionc?hanged from the prior year's quarter. Net loss per share for the third quarter was $0.29, compared to $0.48 for the prior year's quarter, based on 8.3 million and 5.0 million weighted average shares outstanding, respectively.
 Average monthly revenue per unit (ARPU) for the third quarter declined as expected to $21.32, from $21.81 at the end of the second quarter. The decline in ARPU is the result of an increased number of pagers sold through both direcgt and retail distribution channels, which do not provide monthly rental fees to the Company; an increase in the number of long-term contracts at discounted rates; and general industry pricing competition.
 Regarding the retail distribution strategy that Dial Page implemented last quarter, Mr. Hultman said, "This distribution channel supplements the direct sales of our pagers to small and medium-sized businesses, and has been performing ahead of our expectation. The higher up-front marketing costs of these retail sales tend to slow operating cash flow, but over time the revenues should exceed the marketing expenses, and we expect this program will begin contributing to cash flow during 1994."
 Revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 1993 increased 13.1 percent to $43.9 million, from $38.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 1992. Operating cash flow for the nine months increased 9.8 percent from $14.3 million in the prior year's quarter to $15.7 million. Profit margin for the nine month period was 35.7 percent, decreased from 36.8 percent in the prior year's nine month period. Net loss for the nine months in 1993 was $6.0 million, improved from the prior year's nine month loss of $8.3 million. Net loss for the nine months ended September 30, 1993 includes an extraordinary charge of $1.6 million to write off loan origination fees associated with a retired credit agreement.
 Dial Page, Inc. provides paging and messaging services throughout the Southeast United States, and has announced plans to build a digital mobile phone network in its service area.
 in thousands of dollars, except per-share data
 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 September 30 September 30
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Revenues $15,281 $13,497 $43,053 $38,815
 Operating Expenses $10,188 $ 8,493 $28,290 $24,539
 Operating Cash Flow $ 5,093 $ 5,004 $15,671 $14,284
 Depreciation &
 Amortization $ 4,420 $ 4,552 $12,556 $13,382
 Operating Income $ 673 $ 452 $ 3,115 $ 902
 Interest Expense $ 2,859 $ 2,741 $ 7,964 $ 7,980
 Other Income (Expense) $ (205) $ (119) $ 407 $(1,189)
 Net Loss $ 2,401 $ 2,408 $ 6,030(A) $ 8,267
 Net Loss Per Share $ .29 $ .48 $ .83(A) $ 1.65
 Weighted Average Number
 of Shares Outstanding 8,305 5,000 7,283 5,000
 (A) Includes extraordinary charge of $1,577,000, or $.23 a share to write off loan-origination fees associated with the Company's prior credit agreements for its senior bank debt. This charge was a result of repaying such indebtedness from the proceeds of the sale of the Company's $85 million 12.25 percent senior notes.
 For nine months ended September 30, 1993 1992
 Pagers in service 244,245 199,186
 Alphanumeric pagers as percent of
 total pagers in service 15.6 pct. 12.7 pct.
 Monthly cash flow per pager $7.76 $8.39
 Operating cash flow margin 35.7 pct. 36.8 pct.
 Average monthly revenue per pager $21.76 $22.81
 (1992 audited)
 Sept. 30, Dec. 31,
 1993 1992
 Current Assets $ 30,178 $ 11,696
 Property And Equipment, Net $ 29,918 $ 25,324
 Other Asets, Net $ 46,132 $ 36,848
 Total Assets $106,228 $ 73,868
 Current Liabilities $ 9,611 $ 10,849
 Long-Term Debt $ 93,167 $ 85,887
 Stockholder's Equity (Deficit) $ 3,450 $(22,868)
 Total Liabilities and Stockholder's
 Equity (Deficit) $106,228 $73,868
 -0- 10/21/93
 /CONTACT: Louise Major, Investor Relations, of Dial Page, Inc., 803-242-0234/

CO: Dial Page, Inc. ST: South Carolina IN: TLS SU: ERN

JM -- CH002 -- 5206 10/21/93 12:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1993

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