U.S. Cellular Announces 2019 and Q4 Earnings

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United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE:USM) reported total operating revenues of $1,052 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, versus $1,051 million for the same period one year ago. Net income attributable to U.S. Cellular shareholders and related diluted earnings per share were $18 million and $0.20, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to $21 million and $0.23, respectively, in the same period one year ago.  U.S. Cellular reported Adjusted EBITDA of $222 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to $213 million in the same period one year ago.

U.S. Cellular reported total operating revenues of $4,022 million and $3,967 million for the years ended 2019 and 2018, respectively. Net income attributable to U.S. Cellular shareholders and related diluted earnings per share were $127 million and $1.44, respectively, for the year ended 2019, compared to $150 million and $1.72, respectively, for the year ended 2018. U.S. Cellular reported Adjusted EBITDA of $1,015 million in 2019, compared to $963 million in 2018.  

“In 2019 we made significant progress on our strategic imperatives,” said U.S. Cellular President and CEO Kenneth Meyers. “We increased revenues and Adjusted EBITDA, putting us in a strong position to proceed with our multi-year network modernization plan. This work will increase speeds and capacity and ready our network for 5G and the exciting opportunities this technology will bring. Additionally we successfully secured spectrum in two FCC auctions strategically positioning us for future 5G services.”

Meyers said: “Customers’ continued migration to higher priced service plans, growing smartphone penetration in our base and increased penetration of device protection services helped increase average revenue per user. We generated strong growth in roaming revenue, while at the same time driving down roaming expenses through favorable agreements with major carriers.”

“As we move into 2020, we will build upon many of the significant programs introduced last year including more compelling unlimited pricing, our new brand positioning ‘Bringing Fairness to Wireless,’ a new web platform with enhanced capabilities and significant network improvements,” he continued. “Leveraging these programs and others, we expect to enhance our customer experience, identify new and emerging revenue streams, reduce costs throughout the business and invest in our associates and our future. This year, we will launch 5G services commercially in two of our markets and continue our VoLTE deployment. Additionally, we are excited that we recently launched commercial service in Sioux City, Iowa and Northern Wisconsin.”

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