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UNITED STATES CELLULAR REPORTS SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN 1992 REVENUES, CUSTOMERS AND CASH FLOW

 CHICAGO, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- United States Cellular Corp. (AMEX: USM) reported substantial increases in service revenues, customers, and operating cash flow. Service revenue increased 68 percent primarily as a result of a 56 percent increase in customers during the year ended Dec. 31, 1992. Operating cash flow increased $14.5 million while operating income before minority share improved by $4.1 million, or 25 percent. Gains totaling $31.4 million on the sale and exchange of certain of USM's cellular properties during 1992 resulted in the company reporting net income of $6.2 million, or $.11 per share, for the year. Net loss before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle totaled $24.4 million, or $.63 per share, during 1991.
 Twelve Months Ended Dec. 31, 1992
 Service revenues totaled $154.8 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, a 68 percent increase over the $92.0 million reported for 1991. Increases in both customers and average monthly revenue per customer fueled the gain. Customers served by the company's majority-owned and managed systems increased 56 percent to 150,800 at Dec. 31, 1992, compared to 97,000 at Dec. 31, 1991. Excluding acquisitions and divestitures, the company's distribution channels added 50,600 new customers during the year, a 49 percent increase over the 34,000 new customers added during 1991. Average monthly service revenue per subscriber totaled $105 in 1992 compared to $100 in 1991. The significant rise in service revenues during 1992 resulted in a $14.5 million increase in operating cash flow from the $2.4 million reported in 1991.
 UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORP.
 Financial Highlights Twelve Months Ended Dec. 31
 (Unaudited, Dollars in millions)
 1992 1991 Percent
 Change
 Service Revenues $154.8 $ 92.0 68
 Operating (Loss) before
 Minority Share (12.7) (16.8) 25
 Operating Cash Flow 16.9 2.4 N/M
 Interest Expense 20.1 16.4 (22)
 Net Income (Loss) (A) $ 6.2 $(24.4) N/M
 N/M -- Percent change not meaningful.
 (A) -- Before cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle.
 "Our operating results for 1992 reflect the continued success of our acquisition and operating strategies," reported H. Donald Nelson, the company's president and chief executive officer. "Growth in revenues, customers and cash flow met our targeted amounts for the year. This growth came from both or more established Metropolitan Statistical Area ( MSA') markets as well as from the newer Rural Service Areas ( RSAs'). The strengths of our market clusters have been enhanced by our successful acquisition program, which has expanded the size of the local service footprints we can offer our customers."
 Operating expenses, including losses on sales of cellular telephones, increased 54 percent to $167.5 million in 1992 from $108.8 million in 1991. System operations expense increased 57 percent to $48.4 million both as a result of the addition of 134 cell sites to the company's coverage areas and of serving a 56 percent larger customer base. Marketing and selling expenses, including losses on the sale of cellular telephones, increased 60 percent to $38.7 million due to the 58 percent increase in gross customer activations in 1992. General and administrative expenses rose 47 percent to $50.8 million primarily due to a 37 percent increase in the number of majority-owned and managed markets and the increase in the customer base. Depreciation and amortization increased 54 percent to $29.6 million resulting from a 42 percent increase in license costs and a 52 percent increase in fixed assets during 1992. License cost amortization totaled $10.9 million in 1992. The company's consolidated cellular systems consisted of 320 cell sites serving 92 majority-owned and managed markets at Dec. 31, 1992, compared to 186 cell sites serving 67 such markets at Dec. 31, 1991.
 Operating loss before minority share totaled $12.7 million during 1992, an improvement of 25 percent from the $16.8 million reported during 1991. Net investment income increases $5.0 million during 1992, offset by a $3.7 million increase in interest expense. During the fourth quarter of 1992, USM completed the sale of its 100 percent interest in an MSA market where it managed 2,900 customers. The resultant gain of $17.1 million on the sale helped produce total gains during 1992 of $31.4 million on the sales and exchange of certain of USM's cellular interests. As a result, USM reported net income of $6.2 million, or $.11 per share, for 1992 compared to a net loss before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle of $24.4 million, or $.63 per share in 1991.
 "The sale and exchange of some of our non-strategic properties helped us generate positive net income for the year," noted Nelson. "Our reason for divesting these interests, however, is primarily to better position our company for the long term."
 Three Months Ended Dec. 31, 1992
 For the three months ended Dec. 31, 1992, service revenues rose 60 percent, totaling $45.1 million compared to $28.3 million in 1991. The improvement was driven by substantial growth in the customer base and increases in average monthly revenue per customer. Excluding acquisitions and divestitures, the company added 18,500 new customers during the fourth quarter of 1992 compared to 11,800 during the same quarter in 1991. Average monthly revenue per customer totaled $106 during the fourth quarter of 1992, improving on the $103 reported for the fourth quarter of 1991. Operating expenses, including losses on equipment sales, totaled $51.7 million, a 45 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 1991. Operating loss before minority share in the fourth quarter of 1992 improved slightly to $6.6 million from the $7.5 million reported for 1991. Operating cash flow rose to a positive $1.8 million in 1992, up from a negative $254,000 for the fourth quarter of 1991.
 UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORP.
 Financial Highlights Three Months Ended Dec. 31
 (Unaudited, Dollars in millions)
 1992 1991 Percent
 Change
 Service Revenues $ 45.1 $ 28.3 60
 Operating (Loss) before
 Minority Share (6.6) (7.5) 12
 Operating Cash Flow 1.8 (.3) N/M
 Gain on sale of Cellular Interests 17.1 .3 N/M
 Interest Expense 5.5 4.1 (35)
 Net Income (Loss) $ 7.9 $ (8.4) N/M
 In addition to the dramatic operating growth, USM also increased its opportunities for future growth. During the fourth quarter of 1992, USM signed agreements to acquire controlling interests in six new markets representing approximately 843,000 population equivalents ("pops"). In total, the company owned or had agreements to acquire interests totaling approximately 21.2
million pops as of Dec. 31, 1992. Nelson commented, "We are committed to pursuing opportunities which will add quality areas to our service footprint. Expanding our service footprint responds to our customers' request for more expansive local service areas and enhances our long-term opportunities for revenue and cash flow growth."
 As shown on the accompanying table, the company had a total of 52.6 million common shares outstanding and commitments to issue an additional 10.7 million common shares in the future. USM also had $331 million in total debt at Dec. 31, 1992, including $266 million under the Revolving Credit Agreement with its parent company, Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (TDS). Additionally, the company had debt commitments, primarily to TDS, totaling $95 million at Dec. 31, 1992, related to pending acquisitions.
 UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORP.
 (Unaudited, in millions)
 Outstanding at Dec. 31, 1992 Debt Equity Shares
 Common Shares (A) $ 25.2 25.2
 Series A Common Shares 27.4 27.4
 Preferred Shares (B) 19.7
 Additional Paid-in Capital 342.2
 Debt $ 331.3
 Total Outstanding
 at Dec. 31, 1992 $ 331.3 414.5 52.6
 Estimated common shares issuable
 for completed acquisition 131.7 6.5
 (A)
 Estimated debt and common shares
 issuable for pending acquisitions 95.2 63.1 3.1
 (A)
 Preferred shares conversion
 into common shares 1.1
 (B)
 Dec. 31, 1992 totals adjusted for
 anticipated acquisition-related
 transactions $ 426.5 $ 609.3 63.3
 (A) -- The aggregate 10.7 million common shares committed for issuance in future years are scheduled to be issued approximately 2.9 million shares in 1993, 6.0 million in 1994 and 1.8 million in 1995 and later years.
 (B) -- Preferred shares are convertible into 1.1 million USM common shares.
 Headquartered in Chicago, USM manages and invests in cellular systems throughout the United States. As of Dec. 31, 1992, USM owned or had rights to acquire interests totaling 21.2 million pops in 74 MSAs and 119 RSAs. At that date, USM managed operational systems serving 33 MSAs and 83 RSAs.
 -0- 2/22/93
 /FIRST AND FINAL ADD TO FOLLOW/
 /CONTACT: Kenneth R. Meyers, Vice President-Finance of United States Cellular Corp., 312-399-8900/
 (USM)


CO: United States Cellular Corp. ST: Illinois IN: TLS SU: ERN

LD -- NY077 -- 9070 02/22/93 16:53 EST
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