February 28, 2018

Struggling Frontier reports profit loss, suspends dividend

Matt Pilon
Matt Pilon
Frontier's Trumbull Street facility in downtown Hartford.

Norwalk-based phone, television and internet provider Frontier Communications' profits fell in the fourth quarter and for all of 2017.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the company's net loss grew to just over $1 billion, or $13.91 a diluted share vs. a $38 million loss in the year-ago period. For the full year, Frontier's net loss also grew to $1.8 billion vs. a $373 million loss a year earlier.

In response to the poor results, the company has decided to suspend its common shares dividend, which will free up an additional $250 million annually to accelerate debt reduction, said Dan McCarthy, Frontier's president and CEO.

Earnings results reflect efforts to "improve customer retention, enhance the customer experience, and align our cost structure," said McCarthy, citing continued improvement in subscriber trends and churn in the company's California, Texas and Florida markets.

Revenue was flat for the quarter at approximately $2.2 billion, though it increased for the year to $9.1 billion from $8.9 billion in the prior year.

Frontier's Connecticut operations, acquired from AT&T in 2014 for $2 billion, lost $248 million in the first two years following the deal, HBJ reported in September.

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