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Telephone & Data Systems Shares Fall on 4Q Loss

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 11:46am
Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Shares of Telephone Data and Systems Inc. fell Tuesday after the company posted a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and announced the acquisition of Baja Broadband in New Mexico for $267.5 million.

The owner of U.S. Cellular and TDS Telecom, posted a loss of $41.9 million, or 39 cents per share, compared with a loss of $6.2 million, or 6 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2011.

Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 4 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $1.35 billion from $1.32 billion, as U.S. cellular revenue edged up 1 percent to $1.12 billion and TDS telecom revenue rose 7 percent to $221.5 million.

TDS said the planned $480 million sale of its markets in Chicago, St. Louis and other key areas to Sprint Nextel Corp. reduced the recent quarter's operating income by $44.5 million.

U.S. Cellular on Tuesday posted a loss of $39.6 million, or 47 cents per share, compared with a profit of $2.8 million, or 3 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

For the full year, TDS earned $81.1 million, or 75 cents per share, down from $200.5 million, or $1.83 per share, in 2011. Revenue rose 3 percent to $5.35 billion from $5.18 billion.

Baja, the company that TDS is buying, generated $82.4 million in 2012 revenue and employs about 285 people. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Company shares fell $1.73, or 7 percent, to $23.64 in morning trading. Over the past 52 weeks, the shares have traded between $19.20 and $27.17.

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