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Alltel sets records for wireless revenues, operating income in first quarter


Alltel produced double-digit revenue growth and strong customer additions in the first quarter. Alltel reported fully diluted earnings per share under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of 64 cents and fully diluted earnings per share of 63 cents from current businesses, a 47 percent increase from a year ago. For the second quarter in a row, Alltel set a record for net customer additions, which were up 44 percent year-over-year to 237,000.

“This was a record-setting quarter for Alltel in both our financial and operational results. We are continuing to win new customers in the market, as demonstrated by new records in wireless revenues, operating income and customer growth,” said Alltel President and CEO Scott Ford. “At the same time, our company is delivering value to shareholders through our quarterly dividend and the current share repurchase program. In the first quarter we acquired an additional 15.3 million shares for $939 million, bringing our total share repurchases to 44 million shares at an average price of $58. Since the inception of the program, Alltel has returned $2.7 billion to shareholders through dividends and the repurchase program.”

Among the highlights for the first quarter:

* Revenues were $2 billion, a 13 percent increase from a year ago. Net income under GAAP was $230 million. Net income from current businesses was $225 million, a 34 percent increase from a year ago.
* Alltel added 867,000 customers, up 8 percent over the same period last year. Post-pay net additions were 109,000, a 102 percent increase, and pre-pay net additions were 128,000, an increase of 15 percent.
* Post-pay churn was 1.33 percent and total churn was 1.77 percent. Both are record lows for Alltel and year-over-year improvements for the fifth consecutive quarter.
* Average revenue per wireless customer (ARPU) was $52.49, a 2 percent increase from last year. Data revenue per customer was $4.70, up 64 percent from last year and 14 percent sequentially.
* Equity free cash flow from current businesses was $359 million, a 36 percent increase. Net cash provided from operations was $561 million.

Alltel operates America’s largest wireless network, which delivers voice and advanced data services nationwide to 12 million customers. Headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., Alltel is a Forbes 500 company with annual revenues of nearly $8 billion.


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