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Posted March 7, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Shentel turns in strong results in '08

EDINBURG -- Shentel turned a blind eye to the economy last year, posting record earnings while continuing to add wireless customers and investing in service improvements.

The telecommunications company reported net income from continuing operations of $5.4 million for the October-December quarter and $26.3 million for the full year, up 20 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively, year over year.

Fourth-quarter and year-end revenues increased 7 percent and 11 percent, respectively, driven by growth in the company's wireless customer base as an affiliate of Sprint Nextel. Shentel ended the year with 211,462 PCS subscribers in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The company said its PCS churn rate -- the percentage of customers who choose to drop service -- fell to 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

Cable TV revenue grew by approximately $800,000 last year from the acquisition of 17,000 customers from Rapid Communications in December.

Increases in operating expenses resulted largely from the costs of improving and expanding Shentel's wireless network as well as depreciation from upgrading its telephone and cable units, the company said. High-speed data services are now available to 86 percent of the population covered by Shentel's PCS network, it said.

The company has discontinued its Converged Services unit, which bundled video, Internet and voice services for delivery to off-campus college housing. In September, the company announced plans to explore the sale of the unit.

-- Daily Staff Report

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