Uniti cuts losses by half in 3Q earnings

Adjusted funds top projections

Uniti Group Inc. is not generating profits for shareholders though the Little Rock fiber provider announced Thursday it cut its losses by about half in the third quarter ending Sept. 30.

The company reported a loss of $81.2 million compared with a loss of $155.9 million in the same period last year. Earnings per share was recorded as a loss of 34 cents compared with 66 cents a year ago.

Adjusted funds from operations, the metric most important to the investment community, topped Wall Street projections.

Revenue was up slightly to $290.7 million in the quarter – beating analysts' projections of $289.4 million – from $283.1 a year ago.

"We delivered another solid quarter of results and consolidated bookings, demonstrating the resiliency of demand for fiber infrastructure and our overall business despite the current challenging macroeconomic environment," President and Chief Executive Officer Kenny Gunderman said in announcing the results before the stock market opened Thursday.

"Uniti remains uniquely positioned to capitalize on all of the growing use cases of fiber, including mobile broadband, fixed wireless, fiber-to-the-home, small cells, fiber-to-the-tower, hyperscaler connectivity, and artificial intelligence."

Uniti reported funds from operations of $95.3 million, or 35 cents per share, in the period. Industry analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research predicted 33 cents per share. Funds from operations takes net income and adds back items such as depreciation and amortization.

Uniti noted it has bolstered its financial position with debt restructurings and is in solid posture to generate growth. "We also remain well positioned to weather any potential prolonged economic headwinds with no significant debt maturities until 2027, minimal floating rate debt, and nearly $7 billion of revenue under contract with an average remaining term of seven years," Gunderman said in the earnings release.

The company reiterated financial projections, saying it expects full-year revenue in the range of $1.15 billion to $1.17 billion.

Uniti's shares rose more than 9% Thursday to close at $4.93. The shares are down 26% over the past 12 months. The company delivers fiber services to the nation's leading communications and technology companies and owns about 139,000 fiber route miles and 8.4 million fiber strand miles.