U.S. Cellular posts $329M loss despite revenue jump

U.S. Cellular posted a $329.1 million net loss in the fourth quarter, compared to a year-ago net income of $29.2 million, despite a jump in revenues. The loss was primarily related to a $386.7 million write-down of U.S. Cellular assets. The regional carrier, which operates in 26 states, is now the nation's fifth largest in the wake of Verizon's $28.1 billion acquisition of Alltel. The carrier had total service revenues of $977 million, up 2 percent from $957.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

Net additions: The carrier had 33,000 total net additions in the quarter, a drop from 64,000 in the year-ago quarter. The carrier ended 2008 with a little over 5.7 million total subscribers, up from 5.5 million at the end of 2007.

Churn: U.S. Cellular had a slight uptick in post-paid churn of 1.6 percent, up from 1.5 percent in the year-ago quarter. Post-paid churn for the full year was 1.5 percent.

ARPU:
ARPU for the quarter was up slightly to $52.71, up from $52.60 in the year-ago quarter.

Data revenue: Data revenue jumped 31.8 percent in the quarter, to $142.1 million, representing 14.5 percent of total service revenues.

For more:
- see this article
- see this release

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